Indian allrounder Ravindra Jadeja has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game”, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Friday.
However, he has not been banned and remains free to play in the rest of the five-Test series with England.
Jadeja, 25, was involved in an incident with England seamer James Anderson during the lunch break on the second day of the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge on July 10.
England charged Jadeja with a level two offence under the ICC’s code of conduct in retaliation for India bringing a more serious level three charge against Anderson for allegedly abusing and pushing Jadeja.
However, ICC Australian match referee David Boon – following a two-and-a-half hour hearing in Southampton on Thursday involving the two players, their lawyers and respective cricket board representatives – downgraded Jadeja’s offence to level one status.
While a level two infringement could have led to Jadeja being banned for at least one match, the maximum penalty for a level one breach is 50 per cent of a player’s match fee.
“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 two offence,” Boon said in an ICC statement.
“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 one offence under Article 2.1.8 of the code.”
Although Boon found Jadeja guilty of a lesser charge than the one levelled against him by England, India team management were unhappy with his decision.
In a statement, they said they were “not satisfied with the verdict” and reserved their right of appeal, adding they believed Jadeja was “not at fault, and supports him fully”.
An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman told AFP they were not commenting on the Jadeja decision.
Anderson’s case will be dealt with in a separate hearing under ICC code of conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis on August 1 – the day after the scheduled finish of the third Test in Southampton, where the England paceman and Jadeja are free to play.
If found guilty of a level three offence, Anderson faces a ban of two-four Tests.
That would rule him out of next month’s fourth Test at Old Trafford and the series finale at The Oval.
However, Lewis, like Boon, does have the option to downgrade Anderson’s charge if he finds him not guilty of a level three infringement.
India lead the series 1-0 after their second Test at Lord’s, the match ending with Jadeja’s run-out of Anderson after which the players were seen shaking hands.