Pandya refuses to step out of home, says father

Pandya refuses to step out of home, says father
FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2018 file photo, India's bowler Hardik Pandya looks on during the fourth One-Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Pandya and teammate Lokesh Rahul were suspended Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pending investigations following their comments about women on a television show. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

New Delhi:  All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s father said on Wednesday that his son has become a social recluse and has refused to step out of his home or attend phone calls ever since he was forced return from the Australia tour due to his controversial comments on a television talk show.

Pandya and top order batsman Lokesh Rahul were asked to go home from the three-ODI series against Australia after being suspended for their comments on the ‘Kofee with Karan’ talk show which were widely condemned as crass and sexist.

Hardik, who hails from Baroda, has reportedly stopped all social contact and did not celebrate Makar Sankranti, which is a popular Hindu festival in Gujarat.

“It’s a festival… a public holiday in Gujarat, but Hardik did not fly any kites. He loves flying kites but his busy cricketing schedule never allowed him to be at home during this festival over the last few years,” Mid-Day quoted Pandya’s father Himanshu as saying.

“This time, he had a chance to fly kites, but because of the adverse situation, there was no mood to celebrate the festival,” Pandya’s father added. Pandya and his teammate KL Rahul faced a lot of flak for their comments on the TV show hosted by Bollywood director Karan Johar,” he added.

Committee of Administrator (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai had originally suggested a two-match ban for the erring duo, but the Board of Control for India (BCCI) is yet to take a final decision on the issue.

“He is very disappointed with the suspension and repents the views he expressed on the TV show. He is committed not to repeat the same mistake,” Himanshu said.

“We have decided not to talk to him on this subject. Even his elder brother Krunal has not discussed anything about the episode with him. We are waiting for the BCCI’s decision.”