Australian skipper Steve Smith, in his book ‘The Journey’ has lashed out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for releasing the video of a verbal altercation between Ravindra Jadeja and Matthew Wade. The 2 cricketers got involved in a verbal spat in the Dharamsala Test earlier this year whose audio was caught by the stump mic.
BCCI had made the visuals public through Twitter but Smith feels it shouldn’t have been done by the board. He mentioned that there were several occasions where the Indian players were going at the Australians and posting a video of an Australian sledging did not reveal the entire story.
“It was an example of the banter that took place on the field, but it gave a very one-sided view of what was happening. There would have been plenty of examples that could have been released of Indian players engaging with me and my team, such as when they were constantly in the ears of Matt Renshaw when he resumed his first innings in Pune having had to retire ill because of diarrhoea,” he wrote.
“Ian Gould asked Matthew and Ravindra to cut it out in Dharamsala and that was where it ended. So to rake it up in the way that it was benefited no-one,” he added.
“What was overlooked in the minor controversy that followed was that, under ICC guidelines, the broadcaster shouldn’t have been broadcasting audio from the stump microphones, except for instances when the ball was in play, and it certainly wasn’t when Matthew Wade and Ravindra were having their discussions,” wrote Smith.
“But whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, it was a timely reminder to players of both sides that the old adage of what happens on the field, stays on the field, no longer applies,” he mentioned.
About the Brainfade incident
Steve Smith also mentioned the infamous ‘Brainfade’ incident that occurred in the Bengaluru Test. The Australian skipper was given out LBW off Umesh Yadav and he then looked at the dressing room for an advice on whether or not the DRS should be taken or not.
The act of his counterpart did not go down well with Virat Kohli and he immediately intervened aggressively. The Indian captain also brought the point up in the post-match conference and compared that to cheating.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised what a talking point it had become, fuelled by Kohli’s post-match claims that we’d called on off-field assistance twice earlier in the match to help our on-field deliberations,” Steve Smith wrote.
“As far as I was concerned, we’d never tried to consult with the dressing room beforehand and although he said he’d brought those previous occasions to the notice of the umpires, I can say categorically that we were never spoken to by either those umpires or match referee Chris Broad about any such breaches in protocol,” added the 28-year-old.
“Virat has always been a player who’s thrived in the most intense of environments, and like me he loves a battle and I can only think it was his way of raising the temperature in the series in an attempt to get the best out of himself. The idea of getting messages from the sidelines for that purpose was not a tactic we as a team ever spoke about and … I can’t work out what he was referring to in his remarks,” he added.