Melbourne: Firmly backing Steve Smith, Cricket Australia Wednesday said questioning his integrity is “outrageous” and there was no “ill-intent” in the captain’s move of seeking dressing room help for a controversial DRS call during the second Test against India.
In a statement issued here, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said the CA firmly stands behind Smith and the rest of the Australian cricket team.
“I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian Team and the dressing room, outrageous,” Sutherland was quoted in a statement.
“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.
“We reject any commentary that suggests our integrity was brought into disrepute or that systemic unfair tactics are used, and stand by Steve and the Australian Cricketers who are proudly representing our country,” he added.
Smith had gestured towards the dressing room to seek a clue on whether to go for a referral or not after he was trapped LBW by pacer Umesh Yadav in the second Test, which Australia lost by 75 runs on Tuesday.
Sparks flew between him and Indian skipper Virat Kohli when umpires noticed Smith’s actions and intervened to stop him. Smith later tried to douse the fire by saying that it was a “brain fade” on his part and he shouldn’t have done it.
But Kohli would have none of it in the post-match press conference and just about stopped short of labelling the Australian’s actions as cheating.
“I can only say, if it happens more than twice, it’s not brain fade,” Kohli had said.
Smith was later criticised by former Indian captains such as Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly who urged the ICC to look into the matter.