Sport Cricket Steve Smith and Virat Kohli escape charges for controversial spat

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli escape charges for controversial spat

Virat Kohli was fuming after an DRS incident on day four of the second Test. Photo: Fox Sports
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Australian cricket captain Steve Smith and his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli have escaped charges over a controversial spat during and after India’s 75-run win in the second Test at Bangalore.

Kohli accused Smith of looking towards the visitors’ dressing room for guidance over whether to request a review for some of the umpire’s decisions during the Test.

Players are only permitted to seek a review from the non-striker under the Decision Review System (DRS) and teams cannot lodge more than two unsuccessful reviews per 80 overs.

Kohil alleged Smith had “cross[ed] the line”, saying it was not the first incident.

Smith said it was a one-off caused by a “brain fade”.

Kohli’s criticism of the Australian visitors could have also been considered a breach of International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct.

The ICC released a statement confirming neither player would face charges.

“In relation to Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, the ICC has considered both incidents in the context of this match and concluded it will be taking no further action against either player,” the ICC statement read.

Coach Darren Lehmann and Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland had both rejected Kohli’s allegations of systematic cheating, with the coach making it clear he believed Australia held the moral high ground after a series of bust-ups in Bangalore.

“I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous,” Mr Sutherland said, having been in the stands in Bangalore.

“We have every faith that there was no ill-intent in his [Smith’s] actions.

“We reject any commentary that suggests our integrity was brought into disrepute or that systemic unfair tactics are used.”

But former India skippers Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to investigate Australia, while Smith’s predecessor Michael Clarke suggested there may be some merit to Kohli’s sensational claim.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said the match referee would “bring both captains together to remind them of their responsibilities to the game” before the third Test in Ranchi on March 16.

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