India vs Australia: BCCI withdraw complaint against Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb

Mumbai: Just hours after filing an official complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Australian skipper Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) withdrew the complaint after its CEO Rahul Johri met with CEO of Cricket Australia James Sutherland at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Thursday.

Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Steve Smith in the second Test. AFP

Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Steve Smith in the second Test. AFP

The two cricket associations put out a joint statement late in the night announcing that they had "resolved to restore focus on the ongoing series amidst the increased attention towards issues which have emanated during the course of the 2nd Test match in Bangalore."

The statement added: "Johri and Sutherland met at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai and, in discussing the matters at length, agreed the importance of bringing back the focus to the game and the much anticipated next Test match in Ranchi."

The statement added that BCCI's withdrawal "comes with an expectation that the two captains will meet prior to the Ranchi Test and commit to lead their teams by example and play the rest of the series, in the right spirit, demonstrating that the players from both teams are true ambassadors for their respective countries."

The trouble had started in the second Test at Bengaluru when Smith, given out LBW to an Umesh Yadav delivery, had allegedly tried to seek help from their dressing room for the impending Decision Review System (DRS) call. This had enraged the Indian camp, particularly skipper Virat Kohli, who complained to the umpire. In the post-match press conference the issue had blown up with Kohli saying that "Australia had crossed a line you don't cross." However, Smith tried to dismiss the incident as a "brain fade" moment. The issue had also led to former cricketers weighing in. Even the BCCI released a video, which it claimed was evidence of the cheating. The incident had threatened to mar the rest of the series.

In the statement, Sutherland said: "A series between India and Australia is bound to generate considerable excitement for fans in both the countries. On the field, the two teams are fierce competitors who represent their countries with pride. As we have seen this week in Bangalore, with so much at stake, tensions can bubble over.  We are half way through what has already been a riveting series -- and there is still much to look forward to.  In discussing the relevant issues in depth, we have agreed that it is in the best interests of the game to put these differences aside and clear the way for the focus to be on the cricket, and the remaining matches of the series."

Johri added, "India has always cherished a contest with Australia and over the years, the performances of both, the teams and the players, are testimony to the level of competitiveness that exists between these two teams. While having responded officially to one such incident which happened in the last Test, together, we believe that the focus of the teams and the joy they provide to the fans, should not be diluted and it is imperative to ensure that the rest of the series, which promises a great cricketing contest, not be compromised."


Published Date: Mar 10, 2017 12:22 am | Updated Date: Mar 10, 2017 12:22 am