Hardik Pandya (L) and KL Rahul (Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya (L) and KL Rahul (Getty Images)

Allrounder Hardik Pandya will fly at the earliest to link up with the India squad in New Zealand for the remainder of their limited-over series.

On Thursday, the Committee of Administrators decided to lift the suspension on Pandya and KL Rahul that was imposed after the duo’s controversial remarks while appearing on an Indian TV show.

Both Pandya and Rahul left for India midway through the Australia tour and were subsequently replaced in the squad by Vijay Shankar (both Australia and NZ) and rookie Shubman Gill (for NZ tour). (ALSO READ: CoA seeks SC appointment of ombudsman to decide fate of Pandya, Rahul)

While Pandya is set to join the India squad in New Zealand, Rahul will be added to the India A squad in Thiruvananthapuram where they are scheduled to face England Lions in a five-match one-day series. Rahul will play the the last three match of the series.

“Following the CoA’s decision to lift the bans on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, the Senior selection committee has decided to include Hardik Pandya in the squad for the series against New Zealand. KL Rahul will meanwhile join the India A squad that is playing 5 one-day games against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram,” BCCI said in a media release late night on Thursday.

It further said, “Hardik Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and KL Rahul will join the India A squad to play the last 3 one-day games against England Lions.”

The decision to lift suspensions was taken by the CoA on the advice of the new amicus curiae P S Narsimha, pending the appointment of an ombudsman and the necessary adjudication on allegations against the players.

The controversy was triggered by the pair’s much-condemned statements on a popular TV show in which they spoke about hookups with multiple women and being casual about it even with their parents. The comments have been described as “inappropriate” by India skipper Virat Kohli.

In a statement released Thursday, the CoA comprising Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai said: The Committee of Administrators (“CoA”) had, by emails dated 11.01.2019, and in exercise of Rule 41(6) of the Constitution of BCCI, suspended Mr. Hardik Pandya and Mr. KL. Rahul in view of the allegations of misconduct against them, pending adjudication of the allegations under Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution.

India currently lead the five-match ODI series  1-0 after a comprehensive victory in Napier on Wednesday. The second ODI will be played on Saturday.