Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul tender unconditional apology; BCCI officials demand an SGM

10 BCCI units demanded a Special General Meeting to appoint an ombudsman for carrying out an inquiry. Whereas CoA member Diana Edulji wants the inquiry conducted by CoA and BCCI office-bearers

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Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) due to their comments on the talk show, Koffee With Karan. After being issued fresh show-cause notices by BCCI, the suspended cricketers have tendered ‘unconditional apologies’ for their sexist comments.

In the meantime, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has said that BCCI should correct the players and not end their careers.

But despite the apologies tendered by the duo, 10 BCCI units demanded a Special General Meeting to appoint an ombudsman for carrying out an inquiry. Whereas CoA member Diana Edulji wants the inquiry conducted by CoA and BCCI office-bearers.

Yes, Hardik and Rahul have submitted their reply to the fresh show cause notices that were served to them. They have tendered an unconditional apology. The CoA chief has instructed the CEO to conduct an inquiry as per clause 41 (c) of the new BCCI constitution," a senior BCCI official told PTI.

The cricketers were called back from the Australian tour, with the World Cup 2019 less than four months away. While Edulji called the inquiry, an attempt to cover up, Rai wrote to her and said, "BCCI is not in the business of ending young careers. It is our responsibility to reprimand them, take corrective action, sensitise them of their misdemeanour and then get them back on to the ground once they have suffered the consequences."

"We have shamed them by recalling them from an ongoing tour. We have suspended them from further games. We need to correct them and not bring their career to a cul de sac by indefinitely delaying a decision. These misdemeanours require swift action, with a corrective approach," he added.

While Rai stated CEO Rahul Johri should initiate the probe, citing the BCCI constitution, his co-member feels that Johri, because of past allegations of sexual harassment against him, should not be entrusted with the task.

The e-mail also states that a request has been made to the Supreme Court to appoint an ombudsman for the case, on the advice of the legal team. However, the court has stated that they would be unable to appoint an ombudsman until January 17. On the other hand, acting BCCI president C.K. Khanna received requisitions from 10 state units demanding a Special General Meeting at the earliest.

Accordingly, as per the new constitution, the secretary — in this case, the acting secretary — can call an SGM on 21 days' notice, but if it has to be an Emergent SGM within 10 days, the board president — the acting president in this case — has to convene the meeting.

So, it would be interesting to see whether Khanna exercises his power to convene the SGM within 10 days or will ask acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary to conduct it within 21 days.

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