All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been included in the India squad for the ongoing limited-overs series against New Zealand, while his teammate KL Rahul will join the India A squad that is playing 5 one-day games against England Lions after the Committee of Administrators (COA) on Thursday decided to lift the bans on the duo, two weeks after they were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments on a TV show.
Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and KL Rahul will join India A squad to play the last 3 one-day games against England Lions.
"Following the CoA’s decision to lift the bans on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, the Senior selection committee has decided to include Hardik Pandya in the squad for the series against New Zealand. KL Rahul will meanwhile join the India A squad that is playing 5 one-day games against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram," BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a press release.
India are already 1-0 up in the five-match ODI series after beating the Kiwis by 8 wickets in Napier.
This announcement comes two weeks after they were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments on celebrity talk show "Koffee with Karan" hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar.
In a press release issued on Thursday evening, the COA which is headed by Vinod Rai, stated that the decision has been taken with the concurrence of Amicus Curiae, PS Narasimha.
The decision to lift the suspension is pending an inquiry, for which an ombudsman is to be appointed by the Supreme Court. The apex court has listed the matter tentatively for February 5.
While Diana Edulji wanted the BCCI office-bearers to be involved in deciding the fate of the two cricketers, COA chief Vinod Rai had dismissed the suggestion as it would have been in violation of the Board constitution.
The COA said the decision to suspend the two players was taken under "Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution", which covers players' conduct that can bring the Board into disrepute.
The idea of letting the players get on with the game was first mooted by BCCI acting president CK Khanna, who wanted the suspensions to be lifted pending inquiry.
(With PTI Inputs)