BCCI, CA decide to bury hatchet

Cricket : Indian board withdraws complaint filed against Aussie skipper Steve Smith

BCCI, CA decide to bury hatchet

 After waging a bitter verbal war over the last couple of days, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) reached truce on Thursday with the former withdrawing the complaint it filed with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Aussie skipper Steve Smith.

A miffed BCCI had lodged an official complaint with the ICC against Smith and Peter Handscomb for seeking dressing room help on a DRS call in the just concluded Bengaluru Test. The BCCI had emailed the documents along with video footage of the incident to the ICC, pressing Level 2 charges (violating spirit of cricket and bringing the game to disrepute) under the global body’s Code of Conduct.

However, in a bid to douse the fire, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland met at the Indian board’s headquarters in Mumbai.

“CEO of BCCI Mr Rahul Johri and CEO of Cricket Australia Mr James Sutherland met at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai today 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,” read a statement from BCCI.

Sutherland felt one needed to bury the hatchet and focus should always be on cricket. “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,” Sutherland said.

“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 too hoped for the same. “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.”

The BCCI also wished the two captains will meet prior to the Ranchi Test (March 16-20) 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.

Earlier, tt was learnt that BCCI has been irked by Cricket Australia’s strong statement defending Smith.

A feeling within the BCCI is that while it is perfectly okay to defend their captain, the tenor of the statement seemed to demean Kohli, which didn’t go down well with the home team.

The Indian team management had expected that the match referee Chris Broad would summon Smith at the end of the game and was left perplexed following inaction on part of Broad.

Broad’s statement to an Australian media publication was also something that didn’t go unnoticed with the BCCI as match referees are not supposed to air their views in the media.

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