Former English umpire Ian Gould recently recalled an incident from the 2014 Adelaide Test match between Australia and India which involved David Warner, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli. In the match, Indian captain Virat Kohli, along with his teammates Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, were involved in a heated exchange with David Warner and Steve Smith. Officiating umpire Ian Gould recently compared the final three days of that Test to a 'war' as things spiralled out of control due to the cricketers' constant chirping on the field. The former umpire also believes that the 2014 Adelaide Test was the starting point that took Australian cricket towards their disgraceful 2018 ball-tampering ‘Sandpapergate’ in South Africa.
While speaking with The Times, Ian Gould admitted that the behaviour of Australian cricketers between 2014 and 2018 often raised eyebrows of the match officials. He cited the example of the 2014 Adelaide Test and he believes that it was the 'first' of many real incidents during the period that led to the ‘Sandpapergate’. Gould admitted that umpires like himself should have “nailed” them (Australian players) at the time but since they let the situation go, 'it just exploded' further. The umpire admitted to be further shocked because the Australians had just lost their brother-like teammate Phil Hughes after he was struck on the head by a bouncer while batting in a Sheffield Shield match.
Ian Gould was also the third umpire of the infamous Test match at Cape Town in 2018. He said that it was very hard for him to watch the emotional press conference by Steve Smith after the Test and described the then Australian captain as a 'good' person. The three cricketers involved in the 'Sandpapergate' controversy, namely Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, were all handed bans of 9 to 12 months by Cricket Australia.
Virat Kohli and the dynamic Australian duo of David Warner and Steve Smith are all slated to represent their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises in the now-postponed IPL 2020 season. Incidentally, all three cricketers are also the captains of their franchises. While Virat Kohli leads Royal Challengers Bangalore, David Warner and Smith are the captains of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals respectively.