March 7 — Smith and Handscomb cross the line on DRS: On Day Four of the second Test between India and Australia at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, Steven Smith is trapped LBW by Umesh Yadav. The Australians consider a referral. Smith turns and seeks advice from non-striker Peter Handscomb, but umpire Nigel Llong is quick to notice that the pair was seeking illegal assistance from the dressing-room. Virat Kohli joins the discussion as well; Llong shows tremendous calmness, sending Smith back and keeping Kohli away from the altercation. Kohli and Smith are involved in a war of words before Smith made his way back to the pavilion; Kohli is later advised by Llong. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Bengaluru

March 7 — Kohli almost called Smith cheater: Kohli expresses disappointment in the post-match conference: “I saw that happening two-three times when I was batting out there. I pointed it out to the umpires, and twice I have seen their players looking up there for information and that’s why I was adamant. When he turned back, that’s when the umpire’s knew what was going on. We told the umpires that they had been doing that for the last three days and that had to stop. There are lines you don’t cross in the cricket field. I won’t mention the word, but it falls into the bracket. I would never do something like that on the field.”

Kohli is immediately asked if he has been referring to the word ‘cheating’, to which he promptly responds, “I didn’t say that, you did.”

March 7 — Smith calls it brain-fade: In the post-match conference Smith admits his fault put it down to a one-off ‘brain-fade’: “I got hit on the pad and looked down to Petey [Handscomb] and he sort of said look up there [towards the dressing-room], so I turned around and said, ‘what do you reckon?’ It was a bit of a brain-fade on my behalf and I shouldn’t have done that.”

March 8 — Former cricketers criticise Smith: “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,” Michael Clarke tells India Today. “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.”

Sunil Gavaskar echoes Clarke’s thoughts while talking to NDTV: “A lot of people was talking regarding this at the commentary box that the Australians looked up to the dressing room to get input from their computer guy whether they should go for referral or not. It was quite blatant and Peter Handscomb suggested to Smith and then Smith asked the guy at the dressing room. I don’t think that was in the spirit of the game. We have to see what the ICC and match referee do.”

Others take to social media as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 8 — Handscomb takes blame: Handscomb tweets: “I referred smudga to look at the box… my fault and was unaware of the rule. Shouldn’t take anything away from what was an amazing game!”

 

 

March 8 — James Sutherland calls Kohli’s claims ‘outrageous’: Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland criticises Kohli’s allegations in an interview with ESPNCricinfo: “I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous. 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.”

March 8 — Darren Lehmann dismisses Kohli’s allegation: “Never, ever, ever. Very surprised to hear that, but it’s their opinion,” tells Lehmann to the Australian media. “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 changed the way we want to play, we’ve obviously changed the side and we’re a younger side so I’m pretty pleased with the way we do things now. We’ve never done any of that, so we’ll just get on with the next game.”

March 8 — BCCI defends Kohli: BCCI tells the media in a release: “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 Steven Smith from taking recourse to inappropriate assistance. BCCI has requested the ICC to take cognizance of the fact that the Australian skipper Mr Steven 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.”

March 8 — Ravichandran Ashwin compares Smith’s DRS act to an Under-10 game: In a video posted on BCCI’s official website, Ashwin refers to Smith’s gesture as “completely unheard of”. He adds: “Steven Smith actually turned back and asked the dressing room if he could take a review. 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.”

March 8 — ICC refuse to take action against Smith or Kohli: In a release, ICC CEO David Richardson comments: “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.”

March 9 — BCCI lodges complaint against Smith and Handscomb: “Yes, the BCCI today officially lodged a complaint with the ICC against Smith and Handscomb. They have submitted the video footage of the incident where Handscomb is insisting Smith to go up for a review and umpire Nigel Llong is seen intervening,” a top source informs PTI on the condition of anonymity.

March 9 — VVS Laxman criticises Smith: Laxman, CricketCountry’s Chief Mentor, writes in his column: “Everyone saw what happened out in the middle, and the speed with which Nigel Llong moved to Smith when he was waiting for a signal of some sort from the dressing-room on whether to review the decision or not. It was neither brain-fade nor a one-off, in my opinion.”

March 9 — David Saker slams Kohli’s claims: Saker, assistant coach of Australia, dismisses the allegations as “pretty much absurd.” He adds: “I think when actually Steven Smith did look up, we were more horrified than anyone else because we had never seen that before. We haven’t got any elaborate sign system, and when he did do that, it was quite a surprise to us. But that’s never happened to me anywhere in my time in cricket.”

When asked about the (almost) ‘cheat’ allegation, Saker responds: “You should have to back up what you say. “It’s really offensive. Probably the worst thing you can be called is cheats. That’s an offensive thing and we have never done something like that and never will. We will rub it off, get on to Ranchi, and try and win there.”

March 9 — Gavaskar slams ICC: Gavaskar tells NDTV he would love to see Kohli take the help of the dressing-room for a DRS referral in the next Test in Ranchi and not get penalised: “It can’t be that some countries get favourable treatment and some countries do not get favourable treatment. If an Indian player (seeks illegal advice from the change-room) then he also should not be pulled up at all. I would actually love to see Virat Kohli, if he is given out (in the third Test) … and he looks at the Indian dressing room, get some sort of feedback from them.”

March 9 — BCCI withdraws complaint: BCCI and CA release a joint statement on Thursday stating that BCCI was withdrawing the complaint, while Smith and Kohli would be meeting in Ranchi ahead of the third Test to ‘uphold spirit of cricket’.

March 10 — Australian media criticises Kohli: The Daily Telegraph run a report alleging Kohli of tossing an energy drink bottle that had hurt an Australian team official. The report further stated that Anil Kumble had stormed into the umpire’s room to seek explanation for the Kohli’s leg-before dismissal in the first innings. This happened after Kohli was convinced that he had nicked it.

The report added: “Kohli might be the aggressor in the brazen campaign India is running against Australia’s integrity — even striking an Australian official with an orange Gatorade bottle — but coach Kumble, one of the main instigators of the Monkeygate fiasco, would appear to have reclaimed his role as the puppeteer behind the scenes.”

Criticising Kumble’s actions and the Indian team, the report further mentioned: “International coaches have access to the officials’ box, but it’s highly unusual for them to make contact mid match, and Kumble’s actions appear indicative of India’s overall attitude that they can dictate to the law makers of the game.”