Australia, India in the clear over Test antics
THE International Cricket Council has stunned the cricketing world by officially confirming that neither India nor Australia has a single case to answer following the bitter second Test in Bangalore.
Fines for excessive sledging, expletive-laden send-offs and spirit of cricket breaches are common fare in Test match cricket, yet one of the ugliest contests in recent times has been inexplicably adjudicated a fair fight.
Virat Kohli's vitriolic accusations that Australia are systematic cheaters, and Steve Smith's DRS drama have been excused by the ICC as merely examples of "emotions running high".
Relations between Australia and India have descended into chaos following an exchange of strident statements from Cricket Australia and the BCCI yesterday which both came out swinging in defence of their respective captains Smith and Kohli.
The second Test descended into a gloves-off street fight, and the ICC - who only two days ago pledged to stamp down on poor player behaviour - has waved the white flag and virtually allowed anarchy to potentially mar the rest of the series.
Kohli was responsible for sparking world war three between two cricketing powerhouses through his relentless sledging, with umpires filthy at his disrespectful attitude both on the field and off.
Smith on the other hand confessed to looking up to the Australian dressing room when contemplating a DRS referral.
Both teams will now feel anything goes when the third Test kicks off in Ranchi next week.
"Specifically 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," said an ICC statement.
Despite handing down no punishments, ICC chief executive David Richardson has implored both teams to now behave.
"We have just witnessed a magnificent game of Test cricket where players from both teams gave their all and emotions were running high during and after the match," said the ICC.
"We would encourage both teams to focus their energies on the third Test in Ranchi next week.
"Ahead of that, the match referee will bring both captains together to remind them of their responsibilities to the game."
The BCCI ignored damning video evidence and eye witness accounts of Kohli's out of control behaviour during the Test and claimed their captain was a mature ambassador for the game.
"The BCCI after due deliberation and seeing the video replays of the episode steadfastly stands with the Indian cricket team and its captain Mr Virat Kohli," the statement said.
"Mr Virat Kohli is a mature and seasoned cricketer and his conduct on the field has been exemplary.
"BCCI sincerely hopes that the rest of the matches are played in the true spirit of cricket."
Meanwhile, both Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association went in hard to bat for Steve Smith and his integrity, slamming India and Kohli for airing the scandalous cheating allegations in the first place.
"I find the allegations questioning the integrity of Steve Smith, the Australian team and the dressing room, outrageous," said CA chief executive James Sutherland.
"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."