Former Australian great Allan Border has openly come out in defence of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul following the criticism and ban for the duo for their controversial comments on Koffee With Karan.
Both Hardik and Rahul had made some sexist, misoygnist comments during their interaction with Karan Johar, which drew the ire of social media followed by a suspension from the sport by the BCCI and CoA.
Their remarks saw them being shunted out of the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, as well as being removed from the squad for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand. Reports have also suggested that the duo may miss out playing in the upcoming World Cup. But Allan Border believes all the furore surrounding the two players is a bit unncecessary.
"I didn’t know quite what to make of it because it seemed fairly harmless (comments). I haven’t seen the episode, just read reports about it. It did seem little inappropriate what they were talking about but I think the ban was a bit over the top. In this age of social media, things just go out of hand," he was quoted as saying by a website.
The Aussie legend further went onto mention that both Hardik and Rahul must have learnt their lessons from the recent mistakes, and that young athletes should take note of the recent saga before making comments.
"I feel sorry for the young blokes, they’ve learnt a hard lesson. I think young sportsmen in this day and age, I suppose need to be media-trained because the slightest little thing can be blown out of proportion. What goes on social media, doesn’t have to be necessarily the absolute 100% truth. Sometimes it just grows legs on all sides and goes off on all different tangents. So I guess young athletes need to be mindful of that. The phenomenon of social media, has its good parts but also its negatives. But yes, I think they’ve learnt their lesson," Allan Border added.
Similar plea seeking the ban on both the players to be lifted was raised by the acting president of BCCI, CK Khanna. He wrote a letter last week to the CoA asking them to allow the duo to play pending enquiry.
"They made a mistake, and they have already been suspended and called back from the series against Australia. They have also submitted an unconditional apology. I suggest that pending inquiry we reinstate both the cricketers into the Indian squad immediately and allow them to join the team in New Zealand at the earliest," his letter read.