How BCCI and CA closed 'cheatgate'

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The late night joint statement by the BCCI and Cricket Australia on Thursday may go a long way in defusing the "Cheatgate" controversy which had threatened to overshadow the riveting India-Australia series which is locked at 1-1. The statement, issued at 11.28 pm, came following a meeting of the CEOs of the two boards - Rahul Johri and James Sutherland respectively.

Post meeting, the BCCI withdrew its official complaint, which had been registered only hours earlier, to the ICC against Australian skipper Steve Smith and batsman Peter Handscomb for seeking dressing room help over a DRS call during the second Test at Bangalore. Just before the third Test in Ranchi, there will now be a 'photo-op,' which will see the captains and coaches of both the teams shaking hands and declaring that rest of the series will be played in "good spirit."

Interestingly, following this truce, the BCCI on Friday also removed the video of the incident, which was cheekily titled "Dressing Room Review," and an interview of Ravichandran Ashwin, in which he likened the act by the Aussies as an incident from an "Under-10" game, from its official website.
Board officials tracking the developments pointed out to TOI that this case was a good example of how the current management in the BCCI can handle a crisis without much fuss.

"It's become fashionable to say that there's chaos in the BCCI. While most ex-office bearers have claimed that the Board will struggle without them, both the CEO and the CoA (SC-appointed administrative panel) deserve a pat on the back for handling this sensitive issue in this manner," said a source.

"The issue was discussed in the last meeting of the COA in Bangalore on Wednesday, which was also attended by Johri and cricket operations manager MV Sridhar. While everyone was clear that there was no point in aggravating matters, a media release was put out purely to support India captain Virat Kohli. Everyone wanted the series to go on," revealed the source.

Explaining why the BCCI then sent an official complaint to the ICC, he said: "In case we needed to complain to the ICC, we had to do it within 48 hours of the Test getting over. Had we missed that, we couldn't have taken this issue further."

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