A peeved Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have expressed their dissatisfaction over match referee David Boon’s verdict that found Ravindra Jadeja guilty of a Level 1 disciplinary breach and imposed a 50 per cent match fee fine on him. And despite the ICC’s press release indicating that an offence of this kind was non-appealable, the Indian board has insisted that they reserve the right to appeal against the ruling. Furthermore, they have also expressed their solidarity with Jadeja claiming that the 25-year-old was ‘not at fault’.
“If you look at it, it was Anderson who pushed Jadeja. And if anyone gets pushed from behind. it’s natural that they turn around. Jadeja is not at fault and we strictly condemn this decision,” a BCCI official said.
The BCCI would be allowed an appeal as this was Jadeja’s second offence within the last 12 months after he had been pulled up for having used offensive language against Shane Watson during an ODI in November 2013. The appeal would have to be submitted within two days of Boon’s official report being received.
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Jadeja had originally been charged with a Level 2 offence by England team manager Phil Neale for his involvement in the contentious incident during the first Test at Trent Bridge. This complaint was the English management’s retort to the charge laid by Indian manager Sunil Dev on James Anderson, who was accused of having pushed and abused the all-rounder. The ECB in turn had alleged that Jadeja had turned and approached Anderson in a threatening fashion.
And Boon had announced his ruling following a three-hour long hearing that was held on Thursday in Southampton and was attended by both players, their legal counsels, witnesses as well as Neale, BCCI’s MV Sridhar, Paul Downton of the ECB, and ICC’s Ethics and Regulatory lawyer.
The BCCI is also irked by the ICC’s decision to give Jadeja’s hearing precedence despite the charges against Anderson being much graver.
The England fast bowler’s hearing is scheduled to be held on August 1, a day after the conclusion of the third Test in Southampton.
“It was the BCCI who had insisted that the hearings not be held together but we expected the Anderson hearing to come first..Our hearing should not have been conducted first as it was the Indian team who had first made the allegations. In addition, we had lodged a Level 3 offence against Anderson,” the official added.
Incidentally, Boon, the former Australian batsman turned match referee, didn’t deem Jadeja guilty of a Level 2 offence but did feel that he had indulged in ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’.
“While I was in no doubt that the 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 Mr Jadeja had committed a Level 1 offence under Article 2.1.8 of the Code,” Boon was quoted as saying in the ICC release.
It now remains to be seen what fate awaits Anderson, who if found guilty of the Level 3 offense stands to be banned for at least two Tests. It will also be interesting to see how the two newly formed allies in the ICC’s corridors of power sort out this awkward stand-off.