Virat Kohli’s DRS allegations against Steve Smith spark BCCI-CA face-off
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has joined in the India vs Australia DRS row, and indirectly slammed Cricket Australia’s comments on the issue. The BCCI came out in strong support of India captain Virat Kohli and requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take note of Australian skipper Steve Smith’s “brain fade” in seeking dressing room’s advice for a DRS referral in the second Test.
The BCCI’s reaction to the controversy came after Cricket Australia called the cheating allegations against Smith as outrageous. BCCI’s communication with ICC comes at a time when the two have shared a tumultuous relationship, regarding the final revenue model. Even Cricket Australia did not support BCCI in opposing ICC’s revenue model and hence the Indian cricket body’s statement adds a different colour to the developments.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after due deliberation and seeing the video replays of the episode steadfastly stands with the Indian Cricket Team and its Captain Mr. Virat Kohli,” said the BCCI in a statement.
“Mr. Virat Kohli is a mature and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary. Mr. Kohli’s action was supported by ICC Elite Panel Umpire Mr. Nigel Llong who rushed in to dissuade Mr. Steve Smith from taking recourse to inappropriate assistance.”
BCCI seeks ICC’s support
The Board added that ICC to step into the matter and is hoping the remainder of the two Tests is played in the right spirit.
“BCCI has requested the ICC to take cognizance of the fact that the Australian skipper Mr. Steve Smith in his press conference admitted to a ‘brain fade’ at that moment. BCCI sincerely hopes that the rest of the matches are played in the true spirit of cricket,” the BCCI added.
Cricket Australia’s outrageous comments
Earlier, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in a statement: “I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous.
“Steve is an outstanding cricketer and person, and role model to many aspiring cricketers and we have every faith that there was no ill-intent in his actions.”
Following India’s 75-run win in the second Test, Kohli had stopped short of calling Smith a cheat but said he had seen the Australian players seeking dressing room’s advice twice before making DRS calls.
However, Kohli said it went against the spirit of the game. “…we take our decisions on the field ourselves. We don’t ask for confirmation upstairs …,” adding: “I saw that happening two times when I was batting out there. I pointed it out to the umpire as well, that it’s happened twice, that I’ve seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation, and that’s why the umpire was at him.
“When he turned back the umpire knew exactly what was going on, because we observed that, we told match referee also, and the umpires, that they’ve been doing that for the last three days and this has to stop, because there’s a line that you don’t cross on the cricket field, because sledging and playing against the opponents is different, but… I don’t want to mention the word, but it falls in that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field.”