DRS controversy: Is the Aussie team management culpable?

It’s anybody’s guess; it’s highly unlikely that CA would allow such blatant transgression of the spirit of the game by its team, especially by its captain Steve Smith, who is one of the brightest batsman in the world and has won ICC Awards.

The Indian team felt that the match officials failed to do their duty after Steve Smith’s statement regarding the DRS incident.   -  K.MURALI KUMAR

Did Team Australia start the unsportsmanlike practice of consulting the dressing room for Decision Review System (DRS) without the knowledge of Cricket Australia (CA)? It’s anybody’s guess.

It’s highly unlikely that CA would have assented to such a transgression, especially by captain Steve Smith, one of the brightest batsman in the world and winner of ICC Awards.

In the circumstances would Smith and the other batsman, Peter Handscomb, have sought direction from Australia’s video analyst, one among the three at the venue to get live feed of the match (the other two being the Match Referee Chris Broad and the Indian team video analyst), without the knowledge of the support staff that includes Darren Lehmann (Head coach), Graeme Hick (batting coach), David Saker (bowling coach), Greg Blewett (fielding coach) and a few more?

Read: CoA didn't want DRS issue to linger, says Diana Edulji

Officials familiar with arrangements around the dressing room zone (or the players and match officials area) say the head coach, usually, sits next to the video analyst who gets the feed on his computer. So it’s easy to send signals in about 10 or 15 seconds.

It’s not known if CA CEO James Sutherland had to confide anything — as to who is responsible for the offending act that took place in Bengaluru — to his BCCI counterpart Rahul Johri when they met on Thursday to thrash out differences and decided to “focus” on the Tests in Ranchi and Dharamsala. A BCCI official said that CA should investigate the incident.

The player DRS says: “If the umpires believe that the captain or batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review. In particular, signals from the dressing room must not be given.”

The BCCI’s decision to first urge the ICC to take cognisance of the event was based on Smith admitting at that he had asked for the dressing room guidance after being declared leg before by umpire Nigel Llong and that he had suffered a “brain fade” at that point.

What got the goat of the Indian team, captain Virat Kohli and the team management was that neither Llong and fellow on-field umpire Richard Illingworth, nor Broad decide to take serious note of the sequence of events in which Smith and Handscomb were involved and report it to the ICC.

The decision to lodge an complaint with the ICC was taken in consultation with the BCCI-Committee of Administrators and after the ICC issued an official statement that no charges had been laid against any player under the ICC Code of Conduct, specifically in relation to Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.

“The Indian team felt that the umpires, match referee and the ICC refused to take note of the incident and act upon it and hence it was decided to lodge an official complaint. They did not want any player to be victimised, but felt aggrieved that the match officials did not do their duty,” said a BCCI official closely involved with all the action that took place on Thursday.

Sources revealed that at least one among the four in the CoA wanted restraint from all sides, but things were set into motion to bring an end to the prevailing ‘bad blood’ situation following Sutherland’s visit to the BCCI office.

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