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CoA chief Vinod Rai wants decision in Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul case by second ODI against Australia

In a letter, accessed by Hindustan Times, Rai has written to the CEO Rahul Johri to take immediate action and start the process of enquiry after the suspension notes were sent on Friday evening.

cricket Updated: Jan 12, 2019 12:14 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul,Vinod Rai,CoA
File picture of KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya(Getty Images)

With India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener KL Rahul being sent separate suspension notes by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on behalf of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their misconduct on the chat show Koffee With Karan, CoA chief Vinod Rai now wants the enquiry to be completed by the second ODI of the ongoing series in Australia.

In a letter, accessed by Hindustan Times, Rai has written to the CEO Rahul Johri to take immediate action and start the process of enquiry after the suspension notes were sent on Friday evening.

“CEO to commence the enquiry as advised by legal. Since the team is abroad with a squad of 13 now, we will have to complete the enquiry quickly. The players must give their explanation quickly. We must take a view by the time the second ODI is over as we cannot afford to debilitate team strength due to delinquent behaviour in part of some players,” he wrote.

ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul handed suspension notes by BCCI for misconduct in Koffee With Karan

On the advise of the legal team to appoint an ad hoc Ombudsman, Rai said: “The most expedient way is to seek the guidance of the Amicus to approach the appropriate person for the specific assignment.”

But the move hasn’t pleased some board functionaries who feel that such hasty approach is unwanted.

“This is shocking! The Chairman clearly seems to want to influence the outcome of the inquiry and this erodes confidence in the system and also raises the question as to whether there was similar or greater pressure to influence how things would turn out in the Johri investigation.

Does he mean to say that team strength is a criteria to be considered in evaluating the quantum of punishment if the players are found to be guilty? He might as well go the airport and hand them a letter that gives them his pre-decided punishment of a two match ban and the enquiry can take place later at a time convenient to him and the players. Is he feeling the pressure from a franchise?” the functionary told Hindustan Times.

ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya to lose out on an endorsement deal after controversial Koffee with Karan show: Reports

CoA member Diana Edulji in her reply to the mail from Rai, accessed by Hindustan Times, said that it would be improper to appoint an ad hoc Ombudsman and it was only fair that the CoA deals with the matter along with the office bearers or the acting secretary.

“The constitution does not provide for appointment of an ad hoc Ombudsman as such it won’t be prudent to go down that lane. The enquiry should be done by the CoA along with the three office bearers or the CoA along with the secretary. Let us not rush into making wrong decisions,” she wrote.

She also said it would be unfair to have the CEO conduct the enquiry. “In view of the grave sexual allegations levied on the CEO, it wouldn’t be justified if he conducts the enquiry. It’s bad optics and the CoA will be criticised for it,” she explained.

“With the two players coming back, the selectors are in the process or sending the replacements immediately and as such the team will be full strength.”

The legal team had earlier on Friday said: “Considering that the BCCI at present does not have an Ombudsman, the COA, in our view, will be justified in and entitled to appoint an ad hoc ombudsman with a defined specific mandate of adjudicating on the present matter. The Ad hoc Ombudsman should possess the qualifications required for an Ombudsman under Rule 40(1) of the BCCI constitution.

“Thereafter, the Ad hoc Ombudsman should adjudicate on the matter in the manner as prescribed in the BCCI constitution,” the letter read.

The two players been suspended from participating in any activity organised or supported by the Indian board, the ICC or any state associations pending enquiry.

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 12:05 IST