Hardik Pandya is innocent, comments were made in light-hearted manner, says fatherhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/hardik-pandya-is-innocent-comments-were-made-in-light-hearted-manner-says-father-himanshu-5534214/

Hardik Pandya is innocent, comments were made in light-hearted manner, says father

Hardik Pandya's father Himanshu said that his son's comments were "made in a light-hearted manner" and that it should not be viewed very seriously or negatively.

Both Pandya and Rahul have since been suspended for the entirety of India’s ODI series against Australia and it is reported that the two will be issued fresh show-cause notices before a formal inquiry begins. (PTI Photo)

Hardik Pandya’s father Himanshu has defended his son’s comments in a popular TV show that has landed the all-rounder a suspension pending further inquiry. “I don’t think people should read too much into his comments. It was an entertainment show and his comments were made in a light-hearted manner,” he is quoted as saying by Mid-Day.

Pandya appeared on Koffee with Karan with teammate KL Rahul. Comments he made on the show were called out as sexist and caused a social media furor after it was aired on Hotstar. The streaming platform owned by Star has since taken down the video and Pandya issued an apology but that has done little to limit the damage.

“He was only looking to entertain the audience. So, it (comments) should not be viewed very seriously or negatively. He is an innocent boy with a very fun- loving nature,” said Himanshu Pandya.

Both Pandya and Rahul have since been suspended for the entirety of India’s ODI series against Australia and it is reported that the two will be issued fresh show-cause notices before a formal inquiry begins and it is yet to be decided whether it will be an internal committee of the BCCI or an ad hoc ombudsman who will be conducting it.

The decision to hand them suspensions came after Rai’s CoA colleague Diana Edulji recommended suspension till further action against the two. This was after the BCCI’s legal team refused to declare the duo’s comments a violation of the code of conduct.

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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 which is in possession of PTI.