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Ball-tampering allegations just to take focus away from series: Kohli

NEW DELIH: Few days after a British tabloid published footage of Kohli applying saliva to the ball during the first Test against England at Rajkot, in a similar manner to which that had prompted International Cricket Council (ICC) to take action against South African skipper Faf du Plessis for ball-tampering, Kohli rubbished the allegations saying that it is an attempt to take the focus away from the series and a newspaper article doesn’t matter over ICC’s decision.

Ahead of the third India v England Test to be played at Mohali starting Saturday, the Indian skipper said, “This (ball-tampering allegations) is just to take focus away from series; to me newspaper article doesn’t matter over ICC’s decision. I don’t read newspapers, was told 5 days later that such things happened, I just laughed it off.”

The footage was first published by a South African newspaper group IOL, in which Kohli was seen rubbing his right-hand fingers with an artificial substance inside his mouth – most probably a chewing gum – and then proceeded

to shine the ball applying saliva to the ball.

Virat Kohli Captain of India and team player walk bach after the finsh day 4 of the first test match between India and New Zealand held at the Green Park stadium on the 25th September 2016. Photo by: Deepak Malik/ BCCI/ SPORTZPICS

But, the allegation does not hold much ground as per the specific clauses in the ICC’s Rules and Regulations about playing conditions. As per ICC regulations on ball tampering, if a team wants to lodge a complaint about ball tampering by a rival team or its player, it has to be done within five days of the completion of the Test match. However, no complaint was filed by the visiting team (England) and they declined to comment on the issue.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who was charged with ball-tampering during the second Test against Australia in Hobart after the ICC reviewed footage of the match that appeared to show du Plessis applying saliva to the ball with a lolly in his mouth, was allowed to play the third Test but was fined 100 per cent of his match fees.

India coach Anil Kumble had on Thursday categorically dismissed allegations of ball tampering, stating that he does not believe in “giving wind to such stories”. “First of all, I don’t want to react to any report that is there in the media. As far as I am concerned, neither the umpire nor the match referee ever came to us talking about it. We would certainly not like to give too much wind to the story,” Kumble told mediapersons clarifying his and the team’s stand in the matter.


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