Smithgate

CA jumps to defend underfire skipper

Melbourne: Firmly backing skipper Steve Smith, Cricket Australia (CA) said Wednesday that questioning his integrity is ‘outrageous’ and there was no ‘ill-intent’ in the captain’s move of seeking dressing room help for a controversial DRS call during the second Test against India.
In a statement issued here, CA CEO James Sutherland said that the parent body firmly stands behind Smith and the rest of the Australian cricket team.
“I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous,” Sutherland was quoted 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.
Smith had gestured towards the dressing room to seek a clue on whether to go for a referral or not after he was trapped LBW by pacer Umesh Yadav in the second innings of the second Test, which Australia lost by 75 runs Tuesday.
Sparks flew between him and Indian skipper Virat Kohli when umpires noticed Smith’s actions and intervened to stop him. Smith later tried to douse the fire by saying that it was a ‘brain fade’ on his part and he shouldn’t have done it.
Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh has also jumped to the defence of the present captain, but has also said the ICC should intervene and give their final verdict on the matter. He said that the ICC is the right body to clear all doubts.
“It was a fantastic Test match. It’s a shame we are focussing on one incident. I would go with what Smith has said (brain fade). I would take him on face value. The best part was umpires stepped in and stopped it then and there,” Waugh told mediapersons Wednesday at a promotional event in New Delhi.
“Someone from the ICC needs to look into the matter and bring it to a finality. Look we need to move on. Probably he (Smith) would be cautioned. It was a high intensity game,” added Waugh.
Meanwhile Smith who is so active on his Twitter account has refrained from making any comment on the issue. Instead he has praised Team India for their win and said that his side were looking forward to the next game at Ranchi

No ICC action against Kohli, Steve

New Delhi: Amid the controversy surrounding the DRS call in the India-Australia second Test, the ICC said Wednesday, it will take no action against Steve Smith and Virat Kohli as no charges have been laid against the two captains under its code of conduct.
“The ICC has confirmed that no charges have been laid against any player under the ICC Code of Conduct following the second Test match between India and Australia in Bangalore,” the ICC said in a statement which was given to mediapersons here.
“Specifically in relation to Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, the ICC has considered both incidents in the context of this match and concluded it will be taking no further action against either player,” it added.
As the controversy turned into a full blown verbal war between the two cricket boards, the BCCI, through a media release earlier in the day, had requested the ICC to take note of Australian skipper Smith’s ‘brain fade’ in seeking the dressing room’s advice for a DRS referral in the second Test.
ICC chief executive David Richardson 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.”
The ICC could have looked into the matter had Indian team lodged any official charge against Steve Smith.
“During the infamous Trent Bridge spat between Ravindra Jadeja and Jimmy Anderson, it was Indian manager Sunil Dev who, on behalf of BCCI, had filed an official complaint laying specific charges. That’s what needs to be done in this case. The BCCI had filed a complaint then,” a top BCCI source involved in drafting of complaint during the 2014 series told the agency on conditions of anonymity.

Handscomb takes blame on himself

New Delhi: Australia batsman Peter Handscomb admitted Wednesday his fault in suggesting skipper Steve Smith to seek inputs from the dressing room after being adjudged leg before off Umesh Yadav on the fourth day of the second Test, which India won by 75 runs. In a way, he admitted that his captain had indeed tried to get inputs from the dressing room regarding the review.
Post midnight, it was Handscomb, who took to twitter to defend his captain and take the blame for what Smith has termed as a ‘brain fade’. Handscomb said he did not know the rules pertaining to DRS referral.
“I referred Smudga (Smith’s nickname) to look at the box… my fault and was unaware of the rule. Shouldn’t take anything away from what was an amazing game!,” Handscomb wrote on his official Twitter page. Even former Australia captain Michael Clarke said that it was Handscomb who had suggested Smith to turn around while making it clear that he found the move ‘unacceptable’.
“I want to find out from the Australian team if they’re using the DRS in that way, if they are then that is unacceptable,” Clarke was quoted as saying by a national TV channel.
“My concern and my worry is that when you look at the footage of what happened with Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb… actually suggests to Steve Smith to turn around and have a look at the support staff. If it is only a one-off, I don’t think that would have happened. The fact that Peter Handscomb is even thinking about telling the Australian captain to turn around and look to the support staff, I’ve got my concerns.”

BCCI backs Kohli, wants ICC to take cognizance

New Delhi: The BCCI came out in strong support of India captain Virat Kohli and requested the ICC to take note of Australian skipper Steve Smith’s ‘brain fade’ in seeking the dressing room’s advice for a DRS referral in the second Test.
The BCCI’s reaction Wednesday to the controversy came after Cricket Australia (CA) called the cheating allegations against Smith outrageous.
“The 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,” said the BCCI 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,” the statement added. The BCCI also said that it wants ICC to step into the matter and is hoping the remainder of the two Tests is played in the right spirit.
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,” the BCCI further said in the statement.

Lehmann rubbishes claims
Bangalore: Australia coach Darren Lehmann dismissed Wednesday Virat Kohli’s allegation that his team repeatedly sought DRS inputs from the dressing room, insisting that the second Test was played the right way. “Never, ever, ever. Very surprised to hear that, but it’s their opinion,” said Lehmann when the Australian media asked him about Kohli’s controversial claims post India’s win here. “He (Kohli) has his opinion and we have ours, but at the end of the day we play the game the right way. “We’ve never done any of that, so we’ll just get on with the next game,” the coach added.

Smith incident reminds Ashwin of his junior days

New Delhi: India’s premier spinner Ravi Ashwin has said that Australian skipper Steve Smith’s look towards the dressing room for DRS advice on the fourth day of the Bangalore Test was completely ‘unheard’. Speaking to teammate Cheteshwar Pujara in a ‘bcci.tv’ video, Ashwin jested that the incident reminded him of his junior cricket days.
“Steven Smith actually turned back and asked the dressing room if he could take a review,” Ashwin said. “That is completely unheard of. The last time I thought that to happen was in an under-10 game, when my coach used to suggest where point fielders and cover fielders used to stand. “It was really surprising. I have a lot of respect for Steven Smith, but that was very very surprising.”
There  was a lot of chat on the field between the Indian and Australian players through the Test match, and Ashwin and Pujara detailed specific instances during their conversation. Pujara said he had been in David Warner’s ear, telling him about Ashwin’s record against the batsman. Ashwin ended the match having dismissed Warner in both innings.
“Well, see, they were talking a lot and probably sledging is something which, as a unit, we felt that we can give them back,” Pujara said. “They were always under pressure when they walked in to bat, and I wanted to make sure their batsmen were thinking about it, especially David Warner,” Pujara added.
After dismissing Mitchell Starc, Ashwin sent him off by repeatedly pointing to his own forehead – mimicking the gesture Starc had made after Abhinav Mukund had top-edged him for six in India’s second innings.

Agencies

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