The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting President CK Khanna on Saturday urged the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to lift the suspension on banned Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.

Both Rahul and Pandya have been suspended by the BCCI with immediate effect for their much criticised ‘sexist’ remarks on the talk show “Koffee With Karan”, hosted by filmmaker Karana Johar.

CK Khanna also refused to convene a Special General Meeting on the matter as demanded by Board officials. According to Khanna, calling an SGM to appoint an ombudsman to investigate the two players’ conduct wouldn’t be right as the case is already in the Supreme Court.

“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,” Khanna wrote in a letter to the CoA as reported by PTI.

“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,” Khanna added.

Rahul and Pandya had already missed the recently concluded ODI series against Australia and are set to sit out of the team for the upcoming tour of New Zealand as well.

Responding to BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry’s mail, requesting for an early SGM, Khanna replied, “As per the constitution of the BCCI, an ombudsman can be appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). And moreover, the matter (appointment of ombudsman) is already sub-judice.”

Khanna also requested CoA and BCCI office-bearers to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

“What Mr Hardik Pandya said and Mr KL Rahul acted as a bystander to is inappropriate and absolutely wrong, but in my personal opinion, to treat them like lawbreakers is wrong too,” Khanna wrote, adding, “Both these cricketers need game time before the World Cup which starts in four months time. We should give these growing cricketers a chance to correct themselves morally.”