In a new twist in the DRS controversy, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), has come out in support of the Indian captain Virat Kohli and has asked ICC to intervene in the matter. In an official statement released by the BCCI, the body said it ‘stands with the Indian cricket team and its Captain Mr Virat Kohli’. The Indian Express quoted BCCI saying, “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. 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. BCCI sincerely hopes that the rest of the matches are played in the true spirit of cricket.”
Watch Virat Kohli’s press conference:
Earlier in the day, Cricket Australia came out in support of Aussie skipper Steve Smith calling Virat Kohli’s remarks outrageous. While addressing the media, CEO of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland said, “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.”
Even the Aussie skipper Steve Smith admitted his mistake after the match. “I got hit on the pad and looked down to Petey (Handscomb) and he said `Look up there,’ so I turned around and it was a bit of a brain fade on my behalf. I was looking for our boys, so shouldn’t have done that,” he said in his post-match conference.
The entire issue started when Virat Kohli took a jibe at his counterpart. “It has to stop because there is a line that you don’t cross on the cricket field. Sledging is different but I don’t want to mention the (particular) word but it falls in that bracket. I would never do something like that on the cricket field,” said a furious Kohli.