The DRS row between India and Australia took a new turn today with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) jumping to the defence of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli who had accused the right-handed batsman of ‘cheating in the usage of the review’.
In a statement, the board said that after due deliberation and seeing the video replays, it has decided to stand by its ‘mature’ skipper.
"The BCCI after due deliberation and seeing the video replays of the episode steadfastly stands with the Indian cricket team and its captain Virat Kohli," the statement reads.
"Virat Kohli is a mature and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary," it further reads.
"Kohli's action was supported by ICC Elite Panel Umpire Nigel Llong, who rushed in to dissuade Steve Smith from taking recourse to inappropriate assistance," it said.
After India's remarkable 75-run win in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Kohli just stopped short of accusing the Australians of cheating, claiming that they had repeatedly looked to the dressing room for advice on DRS.
Tempers reached a boiling point when Smith sought help from the dressing room with regard to taking a review after he was struck on the pads and was given out to pacer Umesh Yadav while on 28. The rule book clearly mentions that except the non-striker (in this case Peter Handscomb), the batsman (Smith) cannot receive any outside input.
The BCCI also said that it has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take cognizance of the fact that 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 statement read.
Earlier in the day, Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland termed as ‘outrageous’ Kohli's suggestion that Australian players, including Smith, had gone against the rules of the sport when using the DRS during the Bengaluru Test.