“What action you are talking about? There will be no action. Smith is whining,” said a top Board official when asked about the home team captain’s comments against Sreesanth and MS Dhoni’s virtual endorsement of his views. The BCCI, one may note, had reprimanded the mercurial Kerala pacer a few times in the past, but this time, Sreesanth is unlikely to earn any censure.
“What matters is South Africa lost the Test and they are now whining about it. When Australian players sledge, the South Africans never raised the issues. He is being a sore loser,” the official added.
On the eve of the third Test here on Friday, Smith charged Sreesanth of making a personal attack.
“I think pretty much every series you play, guys would like to have a go at you. It’s just that throughout my 90 Tests, I have played many Tests and it hasn’t been that aggressive... You stop by bringing families and few personal things into the game. May be you are crossing the line,” Smith said.
Dhoni seemed to endorse Smith’s views on Sreesanth, whose three-wicket burst guided India to an incredible victory in the second Test.
“It’s quite difficult to control Sreesanth. Hopefully, he will be on the right side this time, and if he’s supposed to say something, say something that’s not very personal and to the point,” the Indian skipper said.
“When you are representing your country, you try your best to win games, but as I always say, certain guidelines need to be followed. You always have to be on the right side of that line,” Dhoni added.
When asked, the Indian team manager refused to see anything serious in Dhoni’s comments.
“There are no differences in the side and no instructions have been issued to the bowler. Reports of Sreesanth being isolated are false. Our position is that no one should cross the line,” manager Ranjib Biswal said, reacting to reports back home that Sreesanth has been isolated on this matter.
Smith, however, refused to discuss the issue. “Look that’s stuff I don’t really want to get into. If we have a concern, we raise it with the ICC and the match referee, not in press conferences,” Smith said and added that the teams can remain competitive without crossing the line.
“I think it’s going to be competitive, and that’s what everyone wants to see. No one wants to step over that mark as it has been at times. We all need to take the responsibility to play the game in the right way,” he said. On Friday, Corrie van Zyl had said Sreesanth got too personal in Durban.