Virat Kohli bashing is NOT in the spirit of cricket, Mr. Sutherland | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Virat Kohli bashing is NOT in the spirit of cricket, Mr. Sutherland

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s views on Virat Kohli’s behaviour will not amuse India’s cricket bosses, who chose to give the spirit of cricket priority over jingoism

cricket Updated: Mar 23, 2017 23:31 IST
Soumitra Bose
Ever since the start of the ongoing series, India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has been targeted by Australians-- from the media Down Under, to former and current cricketers and cricket administrators.
Ever since the start of the ongoing series, India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has been targeted by Australians-- from the media Down Under, to former and current cricketers and cricket administrators.(AFP)

On Wednesday evening, Vinod Rai, head of the Indian cricket Board’s Committee of Administrators, vehemently denied that the BCCI had made a U-turn after complaining to the ICC against Australia’s unfair methods in using the Decision Review System in the controversial Bangalore Test.

To persistent queries on why India backed down, Rai defended the Board withdrawing its complaint, saying India’s decision to settle the issue was purely to respect the “spirit of the game” and that there was no place for bad blood between the two cricket super powers.

Read more | Shreyas Iyer called up as injury cover for Virat Kohli ahead of Dharamsala Test

To justify the faith in the Indian cricket team, and especiallythe robust Virat Kohli, Rai even went to the extent of claiming that he knew the players “better than the media” that has covered the Indian cricket team for several years.

BCCI BOSSES SHOW RESTRAINT

True to its profile and lofty credentials, Rai’s committee never spoke ill of Steve Smith or the Australians, even after Virat Kohli hinted that Australia had cheated multiple times over DRS in the series.

Read more | Why Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist is scared of Virat Kohli ahead of Dharamsala Test

On the contrary, James Sutherland, Cricket Australia’s chief executive officer, failed to show that maturity.

Sutherland’s comment that “Virat Kohli doesn’t know how to spell the word ‘sorry’,” is ill-timed and unexpected from a seasoned cricket administrator. Unlike the BCCI officials, Sutherland has let indiscretion get the better of him.

BCCI’s act of restraint at the height of DRS row must be lauded. India not only showed respect to Australia but also their superbly gifted captain Steve Smith, who was honest enough to admit that his “Dressing Room Review” was unacceptable.

Read more | Dharamsala set for blockbuster Test debut as India eye series vs Australia

At a time when Sutherland should have shown restraint and good spirit, he took on Virat Kohli in a radio interview, and just like the jingoistic Australia media, madly went over the top.

Interestingly, in December 2016, Sutherland’s Cricket Australia had voted Virat Kohli as their ODI Captain of the Year. The Aussies were effusive in their praise of Kohli then.

Now, Sutherland has shown another side of himself. If Kohli doesn’t know how to spell ‘sorry’, then double-faced Sutherland perhaps doesn’t know how to spell ‘shame’.