Mumbai: It has been 10 weeks now since the controversial Koffee with Karan episode featuring Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul was aired on TV. After Pandya faced the wrath for his sexist remarks on women alongside Rahul, the duo was further suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pending an inquiry to the matter.
As a result, they were sent back to India and eventually missed the ODIs against Australia.
The cricketers were also not picked for the limited-overs tour to New Zealand, where India play five ODIs and three T20Is.
However, it is now learnt that the Supreme Court has tentatively set a date for the hearing on February 5th which means their return to cricket has further been extended for at least two weeks, according to a report by The Times of India. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 lined up later this year, a delay in the judicial inquiry to ascertain the facts of the case could hamper the participation of the two in the aforementioned tournaments.
Vinod Rai, chief of Committee of Administrators (CoA), is considering the idea of appointing an ad-hoc ombudsman when the date of the hearing is confirmed.
“Whatever the views of the ad-hoc ombudsman, they can be later presented to the ombudsman appointed by SC for approval. But at least, the enquiry process can be completed and the players can start thinking about their cricket again,” a close source revealed.
The CoA is also mulling a behavioural counselling programme for the Team India players in the wake of the controversy.