They are calling it a light-hearted jab but CA chief James Sutherland knew how Virat Kohli will react to this. And that alone makes him guilty of the worst kind of mischief.

Speaking on Adelaide radio station FIVEaa, Sutherland was asked whether Kohli should apologise to Steve Smith after he accused the Australians of systematically manipulating the Decision Review System in during the second Test in Bengaluru.

Sutherland answered with a laugh: “I’m not sure he knows how to spell the word (sorry) but perhaps at the end of this long and cut-throat series let’s hope the boys can come together and have a bit of a laugh and reflect on that.”

Kohli plays tough cricket but is known to be fair too. Credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Firstly, the insinuation that Kohli is not polite. Sutherland was laughing but that doesn’t absolve him of intent to get under the skin of the Indian skipper. It’s bad enough that the Australia team and media are united in that effort but to see an administrator do the same is a poor reflection of the kind of individual he is. Indeed, it makes one wonder whether he knows how to say ‘sorry.’

And if he does, then this is a good time to start.

The Aussies have left no stone unturned – they have gone after Kohli with everything they’ve got. They have blurred the line between fair and unfair. And now there’s this.

Take it to the ICC again

Secondly, Sutherland has been saying that they want the focus to remain on cricket. If that was indeed his motive, then did he really have to come out and stoke the fire? It makes him a bit of a liar.

Kohli is allowed to hold on to his beliefs, just as the Aussies are allowed to hold on to theirs. If they still believe that they haven’t got justice, then the BCCI should in a light-hearted manner make sure the ICC takes up the complaint again. It would ensure that one side would have to shut up.

If one remembers, the BCCI has already lodged the official complaint and it was Sutherland who decided to interfere. He met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and called for a compromise.

“I was there and I saw a bit of it and I just couldn’t help,” Sutherland said on the radio show.

“Steven owned up to it straight away. He said that he’d done the wrong thing and to have his integrity called into question in that way I just thought it was not appropriate.

“I felt I just had to make a stance and let people know we are 100 per cent behind him and don’t have any question whatsoever about his integrity.”


Cricket Australia shouldn’t talk about integrity. We all remember how they shielded Mark Waugh and Shane Warne during the match fixing scandal.

For years, the ACB shielded their stars Mark Waugh and Shane Warne after they were found out to be involved with Indian bookies, passing on to them information about pitch, weather and more in return of substantial payment during Singer World Series tournament in Sri Lanka in which India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia participated in 1994.

The players admitted their guilt in front of ACB Chairman Alan Crompton and were fined A$8,000 and A$10,000 respectively. They were not banned and the matter was hushed up.

Only when the story featured on the front page of The Australian about the great Australian Cricket cover-up, did the ACB and the players go into panic mode.

Both Waugh and Warne, through their manager, then hurriedly called a media conference in which they admitted of being ‘naive and stupid’.

‘Naïve and stupid’ from then might be very close to ‘brain fade’ from today. So let the CA not talk about integrity.

Thirdly, Cricket Australia’s holier than though approach is frankly irritating. As Ian Chappell wrote recently, the Australians are no choirboys. They have earned a reputation through their antics on the field. India have taken it on the chin and replied in kind.

At the end of the day, Australia were caught in the act – not India. So if anyone has a reason to say or spell ‘sorry,’ then it is Australia and not India. And that’s something – we’ll say it in as light-hearted a manner as possible – which Sutherland is clearly incapable of.