'Cheating' controversy rocks India-Sri Lanka Test

Sam Goodwin

Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera has channelled Steve Smith's infamous 'cheatgate' saga in India in a highly controversial moment with the DRS.

Perera was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Mohammed Shami early on day four of the first Test in Kolkata, and originally started walking back to the pavilion before changing his mind and asking the umpire to refer the decision to the DRS.

It looked as though Perera had been persuaded by some advice from his change room, which is not allowed under the laws of cricket.

Perera walks towards the change rooms before turning back and reviewing. Image: BCCI

However umpire Nigel Llong allowed the referral, and DRS showed the ball had hit Perera outside the line of off stump, meaning the decision was overturned and Perera was allowed to stay.

The bizarre circumstances evoked memories of Aussie skipper Smith, who also looked towards the dressing rooms for advice on whether to use the DRS in India in March.

Indian skipper VIrat Kohli was left fuming by Smith's actions, with umpires immediately sending the Aussie on his way despite wanting to use the DRS.

Kohli later accused Smith of cheating in what was a powder-keg moment during a very ill-tempered tour.

On this occasion, Indian players didn't seem overly perturbed by the contentious situation, but TV commentators were quick to slam Perera.

"It just doesn't sit well," New Zealander Simon Doull said.

"I don't like that at all, he's walking directly in the direction of his changing room.

"Whether it's happened or not I do not know, but it's not a good situation at all."

The decision was overturned. Image: BCCI

ICC rules allow umpires to reject a DRS challenge if they believe the batsman or bowler has received input from players off the field.

“The captain may consult with the bowler and other fielders or the two batsmen may consult with each other prior to deciding whether to request a PlayerReview,” the ICC rules state.

“Under no circumstances is any player permitted to query an umpire about any aspect of a decision before deciding on whether or not to request a Player Review.

“If the umpires believe that the captain or batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review.

Was Perera in the wrong? Image: Getty

“In particular, signals from the dressing room must not be given.”

Perera went onto add another 43 crucial runs with Rangana Herath for the eighth wicket, a stand that proved immensely valuable for Sri Lanka as they push for a maiden Test victory in India.

Fans were quick to slam Perera on social media, with many labelling his actions cheating.