Pandya to join India team in New Zealand after suspension lifted

All-rounder was banned from playing cricket for his comments on a TV show

Pandya to join India team in New Zealand after suspension lifted PHOTO: AFP

All-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to join India's touring squad in New Zealand after his suspension over sexist comments on a TV show was lifted by the country's cricket board.

Pandya talked about his encounters with multiple women in a chat show earlier this month as teammate K. L. Rahul sat next to him, prompting uproar on social media that led to the duo being suspended pending an inquiry.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Thursday allowed Pandya to participate in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series in New Zealand and Rahul to join the India A squad in Thiruvananthapuram.

"Hardik Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and K.L. Rahul will join the India A squad to play the last three one-day games against England Lions," the BCCI said in a news release.

The BCCI had suspended Pandya and Rahul and ordered them to return home in the middle of the team's tour of Australia.

On Thursday the board said its committee of administrators "is of the view that the interim suspension orders... should be presently lifted with immediate effect".

The final call on the duo's fate will be taken by an ombudsman whose appointment has been stuck in a legal wrangle.

The players had apologised for their conduct following the uproar, with Pandya saying he ‘got a bit carried away with the nature of the show’.

Virat Kohli's India lead the five-match series against the Kiwis after their opening win in Napier and will face the hosts on Saturday in the second match.

The tourists will also play three T20Is in New Zealand.