Indian all rounder Hardik Pandya, who had his ban lifted provisionally lifted by the BCCI on Thursday, has already joined the squad for remaining three one-dayers against New Zealand. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) of the BCCI had earlier issued a suspension letter for Pandya and KL Rahul for their controversial remarks on the TV show Koffee With Karan a few weeks back.
Pandya and Rahul, who were originally included in the Indian squad for the limited over series against Australia and New Zealand, were sent back home from Australia after their sexist comments on the TV chat show caused so much uproar on social media.
While Pandya has already joined the squad for the limited over fixtures against New Zealand, Rahul was named in the India A squad for the five one-dayers against England Lions. The inclusion of Pandya came as a respite for the Indian cricket team, who have less than 10 games to prepare ahead of the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be played in less than four months.
Former Indian skipper and Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar however did not seem too pleased with the move from the BCCI. Gavaskar, who was never really convinced with the manner in which the entire case was handled by the BCCI, made it quite clear that he wasn’t happy with the decision to lift the bans imposed on the duo without a proper hearing.
The veteran, despite being delighted with the news of Pandya’s comeback, raised questions on the consequence of the decision on all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who was named as his replacement for the series.
“The question is what was he (Hardik Pandya) suspended for? How has the suspension been lifted without a hearing?” Gavaskar told India Today.
“But forget all that, Hardik will be key for India at the World Cup and it’s a good thing he is coming to New Zealand but then what happens to Vijay Shankar? He has not done a bd job at all in the two games he has played so far. What’s going to be his position? Is he going to be sent back now that Pandya is coming here?” he added.
The third ODI between India and New Zealand gets underway at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Monday. With Pandya returning to the side, he will most probably make it back to the playing XI for the match and Shankar will warm the bench despite having bowled quite economically.