New Delhi: Australian skipper Steven Smith came under immense criticism on social media after he was pictured allegedly mocking Virat Kohli's injury following the Indian skipper's dismissal during the second session on the third day of the Ranchi Test.
Smith was pictured 'holding his shoulder' and shouting in joy after taking Kohli's catch in second slip off the bowling of Pat Cummins.
Image Credits: BCCI /Twitter
This prompted series' official broadcasters — Star Sports — to launch a scathing attack on Steven Smith for his 'unsportsmanlike conduct'. What added fuel to fire was that earlier in the day, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was also seen mimicking Virat Kohli's injury at the boundary ropes.
"For a captain to do this is really shameful. The Australian cricketers have shown they have no respect for others. Sledging is different but to make fun of somebody's injury is such a shameful act," legendary India captain Kapil Dev said during Star Sports' tea-time presentation on Saturday.
However, Cricket Australia's official twitter handle ended the controversy by tweeting the 'real incident'. The post read: Whoops! Fans caught out by Smith photo 'controversy'.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 18, 2017
The actual story is that after taking the catch, Smith was joined by an ecstatic Peter Handscomb in celebrating the big wicket of Kohli, and it was his hand that was on the Australian skipper's shoulder. In short, Smith wasn't mocking Kohli's injury but it was a case of trigger-happy 'netizens' jumping the gun.
Image credits: Cricket Australia Twitter
However, the question that arises here is that shouldn't the official broadcasters of a series of this magnitude, be more careful before having such a debate and wrongfully accusing the opposite team's captain?
If Star Sports are the official broadcasters of the series, then why did they rely on social media pictures (which cannot be authenticated) and not go through their own footage before slating Smith?
However, after noticing their mistake, Star Sports pulled down the campaign which they enthusiastically launched on social media right after hosting the debate during tea break.
When asked later about this faux pas, Kapil Dev said whatever he said was because of the 'pictures' that he saw with his own eyes. So isn't it the responsibility of the host broadcaster to present facts before asking a person like Kapil Dev to analyse it?
But the biggest question that arise here is, after committing this blunder, isn't it a moral responsibility of Star Sports to apologise to Australia and especially to Steven Smith?