New Delhi [India]: After calling for action against Australia captain Steven Smith and batsman Peter Handscomb in relation to the DRS controversy in the Bengaluru Test, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has withdrawn its complaint it had filed with the ICC.
In its complaint, the BCCI said that both the Australian players had committed an alleged level 2 offence for acting against the spirit of cricket, however, a statement on Thursday said that the complaint has been withdrawn after BCCI CEO Rahul Johri met with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland in Mumbai, reports espncricinfo.
Immediately after the development, Cricket Australia followed suit and released a statement, “CEO of BCCI Mr Rahul Johri and CEO of Cricket Australia Mr James Sutherland met at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai today and, in discussing the matters at length, agreed the importance of bringing back the focus to the game and the much anticipated next Test match in Ranchi,”
“Subsequently, BCCI will withdraw the complaint filed with ICC with an expectation that the two captains will meet prior to the Ranchi Test and commit to lead their teams by example and play the rest of the series, in the right spirit, demonstrating that the players from both teams are true ambassadors for their respective countries,” the statement said.
Earlier, the ICC had categorically refused to dole out any action against any of the players in the matter and called on both teams to rather “focus their energies on the third Test in Ranchi next week”.
Following India’s 75-run win in Bengaluru, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had said Australia took help from their dressing room on at least three occasions before making their mind up on DRS reviews in the Test.
The incident took place in the 21st over of the Australia’s second innings on Day Four when Smith was trapped LBW by pacer Umesh Yadav, a delivery that went underground and struck the former just above his left boot in front of middle stump.
Having already blown a DRS call, involving David Warner, the Australians were in a fix on whether to seek another for Smith.
The Australian skipper first turned to non-striker Peter Handscomb’s end to discuss the merit of reviewing umpire Nigel Llong’s decision but were quickly denied a referral when the latter spotted both batsmen looking in the direction of the dressing room.
In the post match press conference, Kohli taking a dig at Smith said, “We have also not been that consistent while taking the right DRS calls and I think we need to get better with that but one thing is that we take our decisions on the field ourselves. We don’t ask for confirmation upstairs. So, I think that one thing that’s pretty consistent with us.”
The 28-year-old Indian skipper further said that he himself saw players of the visiting team looking up to the dressing room and asking for confirmation whether they should take the DRS or not.
“I saw that two times happening when I was batting. I pointed it out to the umpire as well that it has happened twice that I have seen their players looking upstairs for confirmation and that’s why the umpire was at him (Smith).”
“When he turned back, the umpire knew what he was doing because we had observed that and we told that to match referee also and the umpires that this has been going for the past three days and this has to stop,” he added.
“Because there’s a line that you don’t cross on the cricket field, sledging and playing against the opponents is different but I don’t want to mention the word but it falls in that bracket,” he added.
When asked if the word was ‘cheating’, Kohli said, “I am not saying that, you are saying that word.”
He also asserted that he would have never done something like that on the cricket field.
Meanwhile, Smith apologised for his behaviour and said it was wrong on his part to look at the dressing room and he regretted doing the same.
“It was a bit of a brain fade and I shouldn’t have done that,” Smith also said at the presser.
Both the BCCI and Cricket Australian earlier in the day released statements standing by their respective teams.
“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,” the BCCI said 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 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,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland also issued the statement in regards to accusations and reporting of unfair play in the second Test of the four-match series between India and Australia.
“I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian Team and the dressing room, outrageous,” Sutherland said in a statement.
“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.”
“We reject any commentary that suggests our integrity was brought into disrepute or that systemic unfair tactics are used, and stand by Steve and the Australian Cricketers who are proudly representing our country,” he added.
Both the Indian and Australian boards had come out in strong support of their teams on the day after the Test, and Handscomb tweeted that he was “unaware of the rule”.
I referred smudga to look at the box… my fault and was unaware of the rule. Shouldn’t take anything away from what was an amazing game!
— Peter Handscomb (@phandscomb54) March 7, 2017