Did Pandya, Rahul take permission to appear on TV show, asks Chaudhary

BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary has also backed Diana Edulji for seeking legal opinions before going ahead with the 'punishment'.

K.L. Rahul and Hardik Pandya courted controversy after appearing on the talk show 'Koffee with Karan' on Sunday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

At a time when the Committee of Administrators (CoA) appear divided over the two-match suspension on Hardik Pandya, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer, Anirudh Chaudhary, has shot a mail to the CoA asking who granted permission to Pandya and KL Rahul to appear on the television show 'Koffee with Karan'.

The treasurer also backed Diana Edulji for seeking legal opinions before going ahead with the 'punishment'.

Even BCCI's acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhury, also thanked Edulji for her stance on the matter.

“I do not have the latest version of the BCCI contracts available with me and request that a copy of the same be provided to me. However, 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? It is very unfair that sports journalists who are essentially the people who bring the sport and the stories surrounding the sport to the fans and play a part in ensuring the popularity of the sport, do not get access to these players for interviews but Karan Johar was able to get the access," Anirudh wrote in the email.

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“I would like to clarify that I have nothing against Johar or anyone appearing on any show hosted by him or anyone else but I question the situation where the sports journalists are kept at bay while access to the players is given to entertainment shows,” he wrote.

Anirudh further wrote that he 'appreciates' the step taken by Edulji and that due procedure must be followed. 

“I have not been asked to opine but this is a subject that I feel very strongly about and therefore I wish to express my views on the subject. I appreciate the step by Diana Edulji to seek the views of the legal team as it is absolutely essential that the correct procedure is followed in dealing with this situation since a faulty procedure would mean risking that the decision is vitiated ab-initio as was the case in the matter pertaining to the Madhavan Committee in the match-fixing matter in 2000 and in the matter pertaining to the 2013 IPL issue where the findings of a committee consisting of two former High Court judges were held to be void and which culminated into the proceedings that led to the appointment of the Justice Mudgal Committee and subsequently the Justice Lodha Committee,” Anirudh wrote.

He also stressed that "the entire team and support staff must go through a sensitization process. The CEO may join them in the sensitization as well as recommended by Veena Gowda, advocate."

" I have not seen the show cause notice but I presume it mentions the provisions under which the same has been sent. The players who appeared on the show have definitely brought the game and Indian cricket and cricketers into disrepute by their words and admitted conduct. The consequences for bringing the game of cricket into disrepute are definitely something which will have to be considered.

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“If I remember correctly, Warner and Smith were banned for a year for bringing the game into disrepute and in conducting themselves in the manner that they did. While the ICC punished Smith for the offence of tampering with the condition of the ball with the maximum sanction available of a one Test ban, Cricket Australia banned him for a year.

It would be pertinent to note that the CoA had, in those facts and circumstances, also taken the decision to ban those players for the IPL 2018. Therefore, there is a precedence of the CoA having taken a decision in a case where the game had been brought into disrepute by players who were not even playing in the jurisdiction of the BCCI when the incident occurred,” Anirudh wrote.

In another mail, Amitabh hailed Peduli, saying: “I have just seen this trail of emails. Had it not been for you, the matter would never have reached the undersigned, which is yet another brazen violation of the BCCI constitution. Clearly, this was sought to be done consciously and deliberately, behind the backs of the office bearers for reasons best known to those doing it."

“It is most unfortunate that the elected office bearers were kept in the dark about the course of action. When a show cause indeed had to be issued, neither legally nor morally could it have been signed by a most tainted person himself. And I may add something as basic as this at least could have been understood by the person issuing instructions to the tainted issuing authority.

Suspension is in any case not punishment and for the reported misconduct, this suspension (pending inquiry) should have happened yesterday itself, considering it was reported early (India Time). Therefore, the suspension must happen immediately," he added.

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