Southampton: The BCCI and its parent body ICC seemed headed for a showdown after Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was on Friday fined 50% of his match fee for the altercation with England pacer James Anderson, a sentence which a livid Indian Board intends to challenge.
Jadeja was docked 50% of his match fee by match referee David Boon for the on-field incident with Anderson but the player was not found guilty for the original level 2 offence charged by the England team management.
Soon after the ICC announcement, a miffed BCCI made it clear that it was not satisfied with the verdict and said it reserved its right to appeal against the sentence. The BCCI said it was fully behind Jadeja after Boon found the player guilty of ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’.
“The BCCI has taken note of the ICC Match Referee’s decision to find Ravindra Jadeja guilty of a Level 1 ‘Breach of Conduct’ for his involvement in an incident on the second day of the Nottingham Test of the ongoing series between India and England,” the BCCI said in a statement.
“The BCCI wishes to make it clear that it is not satisfied with the verdict. The BCCI reserves its right to appeal against the sentence. The BCCI believes that Mr Ravindra Jadeja was not at fault, and supports him fully,” it added.
The incident occurred during the lunch break of the second day’s play at Nottingham during which, the Indians claim that Anderson had allegedly “abused” and “pushed” Jadeja as the players were making their way into the dressing rooms.
The England team management, which had initially described it as a “minor” incident, later filed a counter-charge against Jadeja. Boon held a hearing in Southampton on Thursday which was attended by both the players, their legal counsels, witnesses as well as BCCI’s MV Sridhar, Phil Neale and Paul Downton of the ECB, and the ICC’s Ethics & Regulatory Lawyer.
In the meeting that lasted for two-and-half hours, former Australia batsman Boon said that the charges on Jadeja only found him guilty to ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’.
Commenting on his decision, Boon said: “Under Article 6.1 of the Code, I had to be comfortably satisfied that the offence had occurred in order to find Jadeja guilty of an offence under Article 2.2.11. “While I was in no doubt that confrontation did occur, and that such conduct was not in the spirit of the game and should not have taken place, I was not comfortably satisfied that this was a level 2 offence. Therefore, in exercising my discretion under Article 7.6.5 of the Code and having heard all the evidence, I was comfortably satisfied that Jadeja had committed a level 1 offence under Article 2.1.8 of the Code.”
Boon will provide his detailed judgement within the next 48 hours. All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty off 50 per cent of a player’s match fee. The hearing for Anderson, who has been charged with a level 3 offence, has been fixed on August 1.
The ICC-appointed Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis will be required to announce his decision within 48 hours after the detailed hearing August 1. Though decks have been cleared for Anderson’s participation at Rose Bowl but he might miss the fourth and fifth match starting August 7 if the investigation finds him guilty of pushing and abusing Jadeja as alleged by the Indians.
Charged with a level 3 offence, Anderson faces a ban of upto two Tests and eight ODIs if found guilty. All Level 3 breaches carry a penalty of between four and eight Suspension Points while Level 2 offences carry a fine of between 50-100 per cent of applicable Match Fee and/or up to two Suspension Points.
Two suspension points equates to a ban of one Test, or two ODIs, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player. The visitors lead the five-match series 1-0 with Hampshire playing host to the third match from Sunday.