Following the war of words between Australia and India on the issue of skipper Steven Smith trying to receive inputs from the dressing room while at play, Cricket Australia and BCCI issued statements supporting their own captains and teams.
In the second test at Bangalore, India Captain Virat Kohli complained that Smith has been taking inputs from the dressing room on DRS before deciding on an umpire review. The India captain said he saw it “happening two times” when he was batting. He also pointed out to the umpire and informed the match referee that the Australia team has been “doing that for the last three days.” The captain emphasized that it had to stop. Confirming the allegations, Smith too admitted his mistakes terming it as “brain fade” in the after-match interview.
However, Cricket Australia released a statement by the afternoon of the next day that there were no dishonest motives behind Smith’s action and it was not an isolated incidence. James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia abruptly rejected any explanation that questioned the integrity of the Aussie captain. He said the player is an outstanding cricketer and a person and is the role model to many aspiring cricketers. He said that allegations against Smith, the Australian Team and the dressing room were “outrageous.” Sutherland further rejected any commentary against the team that any “disrepute or that systematic unfair tactics are used.”
As a reply to Cricket Australia, BCCI issued a statement merely just after three hours. The statement supported Kohli referring to the fact that Smith confirmed the allegations himself. BCCI wrote to ICC “to take cognizance of the fact” that Smith himself admitted the “brain fade” moment. The statement made it clear that BCCI “steadfastly stands with the Indian team and its captain.”
In response, ICC said there would be no action against the skippers, but the match referee would bring them together ahead of the next test to remind their due responsibilities to the game. It might be the first time in cricket history that Cricket Boards have joined the fray between cricketers and team tussles.
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