Pandya to join India team in New Zealand after suspension lifted

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Pandya to join India team in New Zealand after suspension lifted

NEW DELHI: All-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to join India’s touring squad in New Zealand after his suspension over sexist comments on a TV show was lifted by the country’s cricket board.

Pandya talked about his encounters with multiple women in a chat show earlier this month as teammate K. L. Rahul sat next to him, prompting uproar on social media that led to the duo being suspended pending an inquiry.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Thursday allowed Pandya to participate in the ongoing one-day international series in New Zealand and Rahul to join the India A squad in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Hardik Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and K.L. Rahul will join the India A squad to play the last three one-day games against England Lions,” the BCCI said in a news release.

Virat Kohli’s India lead the five-match series against the Kiwis after their opening win in Napier and will face the hosts on Saturday in the second match.

The tourists will also play three Twenty20 internationals in New Zealand.

The BCCI had suspended Pandya and Rahul and ordered them to return home in the middle of the team’s tour of Australia.

On Thursday the board said its committee of administrators “is of the view that the interim suspension orders… should be presently lifted with immediate effect”.

The final call on the duo’s fate will be taken by an ombudsman whose appointment has been stuck in a legal wrangle.

The players had apologised for their conduct following the uproar, with Pandya saying he “got a bit carried away with the nature of the show”.

The chat show ‘Koffee with Karan’ aired on Indian television on January 6 coincided with India’s maiden Test triumph in Australia.

Bollywood producer-director and chat show host Karan Johar has apologised for the damage his programme did to the careers of the promising cricketers who faced flak for their conduct.

“I feel very responsible because it was my show. I invited them as guests, so the ramifications and repercussions of this show are my responsibility,” Johar told Indian TV channel ET Now.

“I have had so many sleepless nights wondering that how can I undo this damage. Who is going to listen to me? It has now gone into a zone that is beyond my control,” the filmmaker added.

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