India’s tour of England got its first taste of acrimony with the visitors alleging that James Anderson had abused and pushed Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge and charging the England fast bowler under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
The incident is said to have taken place near the pavilion as the teams walked off the field for the lunch break on Day Two.
The complaint was lodged by Indian team manager Sunil Dev, and if proved guilty, Anderson faces the prospect of a ban of two-to-four Tests or four to eight ODIs. The veteran pacer should, however, be available for the second Test of the five-match series starting at Lord’s on Thursday, with the ICC not having specified a date for the appointment of a judicial commissioner who will hear the case and then adjudicate on the matter.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) wasted no time in jumping to the pace spearhead’s defence, calling it a ‘minor incident’, and tried to reverse the charge by turning its guns on Jadeja.
“The ECB has notified the ICC of its intention to lodge code of conduct breaches against Jadeja. James Anderson categorically denies the accusations made against him and the ECB has pledged its total support for the player,” it said in a press release.
MS Dhoni and Jadeja had been involved in a crucial stand for the sixth wicket leading up to the lunch break on the second day. There had been at least a couple of face-offs between the Indian all-rounder and Anderson during this period, with the Englishman being the instigator on all occasions.
At one point, following a loud but unsuccessful appeal for caught-behind, Anderson launched a tirade against Jadeja, with Dhoni having to intervene. Jadeja also shrugged his shoulders and threw quizzical glances at umpire Kumar Dharmasena, who too got involved.
Apparently, as the players approached their respective dressing rooms, that Anderson’s tone is alleged to have got abusive. He was also seen exchanging words with Dhoni and Jadeja on camera moments before the alleged incident occurred. “It’s better you draw the line here. If I let my boys do the same, this will turn into an ugly series. We have come here to play cricket,” the Indian captain is learnt to have said.
According to the ICC press release, the alleged offence has been reported under Article 2.3.3, which states “Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that either: (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute.”