SOUTHAMPTON: Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been let off with just a 50 per cent match-fee fine after referee David Boon found the player not guilty of the original level 2 offence, which involved his on-field incident with England pacer James Anderson.
The England team management, which had initially described it as a “minor” incident, later filed a countercharge against Jadeja.
Boon held a hearing in Southampton on Thursday evening, 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 over two 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, Mr 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.”
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 up to 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.–PTI