It was threatening to become the next big controversy in world cricket, but BCCI and the CA mended fences just in time, to release a joint statement and end all talk on the Steve Smith DRS debate.
Clarifying the Indian board’s overnight softening of stand, after filing an official complaint against Smith and his batting partner Peter Handscomb, BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (COA) member Diana Edulji had this to say:
Diana Edulji to PTIThe matter was discussed by the COSA members in Bengaluru. We were in Bengaluru for the awards function where the matter was discussed with CEO Rahul Johri and coach Anil Kumble. Vikram (Limaye) joined us via video conference. We believe that for the best interest of the game, the series should go on without any hiccups.
Edulji also added that one should not have a feeling that the BCCI did not stand by their captain Virat Kohli.
Diana Edulji, Member- COAYes, we firmly stand by our captain Virat Kohli and that’s why the statement was issued supporting our captain. We have complete faith in our captain and it’s not the case that BCCI did not stand with the skipper.
Asked if BCCI could have further pressed charges against Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb, Edulji said: "We thought we have had a great Test match and no one wants the focus to be shifted from cricket. We are hopeful that before Virat and Smith go out for the toss in Ranchi, they will sit across the table and amicably sort out the differences." According to sources in Indian cricket Board, Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland requested Johri to not press charges, reminding him of the cordial bilateral relations they shared through the years.
"Sutherland had admitted that it was a mistake on the part of Steve Smith but requested BCCI CEO to move on. He reminded him of how Cricket Australia has been a partner of BCCI over the years. How both countries have benefitted from the bilateral series. He said how Australian cricketers have always been released for IPL duties. The likes of David Warner, Shane Watson, Steve Smith have all been top draws in the cash-rich league," a source privy to developments said.