Mumbai: Putting an end to the feud between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA), the Indian board has decided to withdraw its complaint against visiting captain Steve Smith and batsman Peter Handscomb over the Decision Review System (DRS) issue.
Hours after the BCCI lodged an official complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC), BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and his Australian counterpart James Sutherland had met late Thursday and decided to restore focus on the ongoing four-Test rubber amidst the increased attention that emanated during the course of the second Test in Bengaluru.
Following the meeting, both the boards issued a joint statement which read: “BCCI and CA have resolved to restore focus on the ongoing series amidst the increased attention towards issues which have emanated during the course of the second Test match in Bengaluru.”
“CEO of BCCI Rahul Johri and CEO of Cricket Australia James Sutherland met at the BCCI headquarters here on Thursday 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.”
Announcing the end of the war of words between the two sides, Johri said: “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.”
“Subsequently, BCCI will withdraw the complaint filed with ICC 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,” he added.
Sutherland, who had earlier termed India skipper Virat Kohli’s allegations on his opposite number Smith seeking advice from the dressing room on the usage of DRS, as “outrageous”, 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 Bengaluru, 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,” he added.
Both Australia and India have won one match each, with the visitors winning the opening Test in Pune by 333 runs before the hosts staged a dramatic comeback in the Bengaluru Test to pocket it by 75 runs.
With the series locked at 1-1, all eyes are now on the third match, starting March 16 at Ranchi. The four Test will be played in Dharamsala from march 25.
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