The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed late on Friday night that Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul have been suspended from playing any form of cricket with immediate effect and will return to India from the ongoing Australia tour over comments made on a popular TV chat show. The Indian cricket board, in a media release, said an inquiry and proceedings will be made against the two cricketers for misconduct and indiscipline. The selection committee will "soon" name the replacements of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for the ODI series against Australia, which starts on Saturday, and as well as the tour to New Zealand.
"The CoA in accordance with the BCCI has decided to suspend Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show," read a BCCI statement.
"The duo will now return to India and an enquiry and proceedings will be made against them for misconduct and indiscipline that have been initiated under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution."
"In terms of Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter," added the release.
The BCCI also said Pandya and Rahul have seven days to explain why "they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline".
Meanwhile, news agency ANI revealed some of the contents of the letter sent by the CoA to Pandya and Rahul.
"You are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or activity authorized or supported by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter," read the letter.
The decision to suspend the duo comes after Rai's CoA colleague Diana Edulji on Friday recommended suspension till further action against the two after the BCCI legal team refused to declare their comments a violation of the code of conduct.
Edulji had initially suggested a two-match suspension for the duo but referred the matter to the legal cell after Vinod Rai agreed with her and recommended the same.
"It is imperative that players be put under suspension till further course of action is decided for this misconduct as was done in case of (BCCI) CEO (Rahul Johri) when he was sent on leave on sexual harassment matter," read Edulji's response to the legal opinion.
Kohli condemns comments
Their remarks on the show were also condemned by India captain Virat Kohli, who called them inappropriate.
"We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don't align with those views, those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made," Kohli said at the press conference in Sydney on Friday.
"From the Indian cricket team's point of view, this changes nothing in our beliefs in the change room, it does nothing to the spirit we have have been able to create. Combinations will have to be thought of once the decision comes out," Kohli added.
Hardik Pandya's sexist comments sparked social media outrage and prompted the player to apologise.
Pandya appeared on a popular TV show with teammate K L Rahul, who was a lot more restrained in his responses to questions on women and relationships.
Pandya said he "got a bit carried away" as he explained his bragging about his prowess with women on the show that aired on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Pandya posted his apology on social media.
"After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way," Pandya posted on Twitter.
"Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments. Respect," he added.
Pandya, who was in the squad that beat Australia for the first time in an away Test series, boasted about his success with multiple women.
"You are just watching and observing how they move as I said I am a little from the black side (influenced by West Indies culture) so I have to see how they (women) move first," he said.
Pandya also said he had bragged to his parents after losing his virginity.
He was quickly slammed for his views on women.
Later on Thursday, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry called for an inquiry to find out whether or not the two sought permission from the BCCI to appear on the show, and if yes, Chaudhry wants to know who gave them the permission.
"The provisions of the earlier contracts and the practice in place would have required these contracted players to seek permission to appear on the show. Was such a permission sought? Was such a permission granted? If so, by whom?" he asked.
(With inputs from Rica Roy)