An uneasy calm must settle around Hardik Pandya. His partner in crime as it were, KL Rahul, can breathe easy, not under the spotlight as much, an odd advantage to not being considered in form enough to make the team.
After all after the hullabaloo about the quantum of punishment to be meted out to the young duo after their rather ludicrous, ill-informed and ignorant remarks on a scandalous talk show known for spurning gossip, the public castigation seemed to have the duo stitched up in knots, not because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had a code of conduct or laws as laid down in the constitution for such mishaps but because they had publicly revealed what people suspected about the mindset of a generation that has grown up on easy glitz and glamour and less on the grassroots that shaped the men before them.
Now even as some suggested that the ICC Cricket World Cup could be out of bounds for the motor mouth, braggadocios Hardik Pandya, the BCCI decision to bring the players back into contention is not necessarily a pardoning of their public gaffes but rather a way for BCCI to buy time as they figure out not only the unusual scenario that elicited such public vilification of the duo but also, their own internal matters that have grown awry in the face of confusion, mayhem and power struggles.
It is hard not to see the present scenario where the players are in limbo because the mechanisms are not in place as a situation where the power in the hands of the two member Committee of Administrators, set up to redress the issues appears to have gone to their head. However, the truth may be closer to home in that given the unusual situation that Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji have found themselves in with the overall operations of the BCCI, they may have been in need of guidance themselves in operating a system that had long been run like a personal fiefdom. It is not surprising that while the former got caught up in the age limit fiasco, the latter has embroiled herself in selection bungles that may have sealed her own fate and could back at a time to bite her at a time when the BCCI’s bigwigs are looking for a back door to make their comeback.
For the moment, it appears to be back to business for Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul and perhaps in hindsight, it is a better strategy to keep the players busy and harnessed to their primary jobs while the BCCI’s operating duo figure out the way forward and also, help set an order and precedent whereby the players and the BCCI are more sensitive when talking and handling about such issues.
That brings back to the table the contentious issue still simmering the background about the muddled manner in which the BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, was cleared of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour and yet assigned to undergo sensitivity training which speaks to the contrary. With that counseling yet to get underway, the BCCI presently appears to be running amok a bit not unlike a headless chicken, which is no surprise why some in the old guard are rearing their ugly heads in the prospect of a way to claw back into the game.