Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has extended support to skipper Virat Kohli, who levelled cheating allegations against Australian team captain Steve Smith for seeking help from dressing room in a Decision Review System during the Bangalore Test.
“After thoroughly going through the video replays of the incident, we steadfastly stand with the Indian Cricket team and its captain Virat Kohli,” said BCCI.
It may be mentioned that Cricket Australia has termed the allegations as ‘outrageous’ after Smith has already apologised for his action, which he described as ‘brain-fade’.
The board also praised the Indian skipper for setting examples with his on-field actions.
“Virat is a mature and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary. His action was supported by on-field umpire Nigel Llong who rushed to dissuade Steve Smith from taking recourse to inappropriate assistance,” the BCCI added.
The BCCI has also appealed the International Cricket Council to take cognizance of Smith’s confession in a press conference that it was the result of ‘brain fade’.
CA chief James Sutherland has strongly condemned the BCCI and Virat Kohli for unnecessarily elevating the matter even after the Aussie skipper has apologised for his action.
It is to be recalled that Smith was adjudged LBW to Umesh Yadav leaving Australia in trouble at 74/4, while chasing a target of 188 runs in the fourth inning of the second of the four-Test series.
He instantly walked to the non-striker Peter Handscomb to discuss if they should use the DRS or not. After a small discussion, both of them approached the dressing room to seek help. A fuming Virat Kohli instantly noticed it and asked the on-field umpire to intervene. Later, the umpire did not allow Smith to challenge the decision.
According to the defined laws of using DRS, a batsman can only discuss with the non-striker and in no case can consult the umpire or the dressing room.
Despite Smith tried to evade the issue, Kohli expressed his displeasure over the happening saying he did not believe in his Aussie counterpart’s excuse.
He strongly claimed that the Aussie team had been doing the same for the past three days and he had notified the umpires about it as well. He alleged that he had seen the players looking upstairs for help on being given out by the on-field umpires on many occasions.
“The umpire understood what was happening as I had already informed him about the same,” Kohli said.
He almost labelled the Aussies as ‘cheats’ by saying, “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.”
Well, the entire episode has just intensified the excitement of the four-Test series which is levelled 1-1 with two matches to go. After winning the Bengaluru Test by 75 runs, India is high on confidence and would take on Australia in Ranchi after a gap of nine days on March 16.