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DRS controversy: No action against Smith or Kohli, confirms ICC

Dubai [UAE]: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that no charges have been laid against Australia captain Steven Smith, India captain Virat Kohli, or any other player under the ICC Code of Conduct in relation to the DRS incident in the Bengaluru Test.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson in a statement said, “We have just witnessed a magnificent game of Test cricket where players from both teams gave their all and emotions were running high during and after the match.

“We would encourage both teams to focus their energies on the third Test in Ranchi next week. Ahead of that, the match referee will bring both captains together to remind them of their responsibilities to the game.”

Following India’s 75-run win in Bengaluru, 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. (ANI)