India: Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul fined for comments about women

KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya
KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were this week named in India's squad for the World Cup starting on 30 May

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul have been fined for "sexist, disrespectful and racist" comments made on a television chat show.

They have been ordered to pay 2m rupees (£22,160) each by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Pandya and Rahul were guests on Indian programme Koffee with Karan in January.

Pandya, 25, and Rahul, 27, were subsequently sent home from India's tour of Australia.

They missed five matches and lost out on match fees worth more than £30,000, although the bans were later lifted.

The BCCI said the players had shown regret and apologised for the comments but that they had to "make amends".

A BCCI ombudsman wrote in his report: "In our country the game of cricket is often treated as religion, revered and the cricketers are idolised.

"A player of international standing needs to bear in mind that he is shouldering a responsibility towards society all the time."

On the show, Pandya spoke about "hook-ups" with several women and said he liked to observe women at bars and nightclubs.

He boasted about being open with his parents about the liaisons, although Rahul was more reserved with his comments.

India captain Virat Kohli described the remarks as "inappropriate" before the players were suspended.

The proceeds of the fines will be shared between the bereaved widows of servicemen and a blind cricket scheme.

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