After the BCCI expressed their dissatisfaction over Ravindra Jadeja being fined 50 per cent of his match fees over the incident with James Anderson on Day 2 of the Trent Bridge Test, it was Team India captain, MS Dhoni, who made his displeasure known in no uncertain terms.
On the eve of the third Test against England in Southampton, Dhoni said he was “hurt” by the ICC’s verdict because he witnessed the entire incident and was certain that Jadeja did not perform any act of aggression.
“What exactly happened was the umpire called lunch and we started to walk. There was this individual who once again used foul language against Jadeja and I had to step in the middle.
“By the time we reached the ropes, I thought it had diffused. But when we reached the players’ area, Jadeja was walking a couple of yards behind me. Again something was said to him and he turned across to the individual and that’s when he was pushed. He barely regained his balance and turned to see what was really happening. And on the basis of that he is fined,” Dhoni described.
The captain said with conviction that not a single word was uttered by Jadeja from the time the two of them began to walk towards the pavilion until they reached the dressing room.
“If someone says something to you from behind and you turn to look, that is not an aggressive act,” Dhoni asserted. “The bat was under Jadeja’s armpit throughout and right from when the lunch break was called till he entered the dressing room, not one word was spoken by Jadeja.
“It’s for you guys to decide from whatever I am saying and if I haven’t lied, whether whatever Jadeja did was aggressive. I don’t think there was even a hint of aggression in what he did and that’s why I am hurt by the verdict that has been given,” the captain said.
“Jadeja gets charged for Level 2 and gets punished under Level 1. The beauty of Level 1 is that you can’t appeal against the verdict. But the BCCI and its legal team are working things out because we are definitely not happy with the verdict.”
Dhoni was also mindful of the consequences if the current verdict is upheld. “It will become difficult for me as captain,” he said. “Tomorrow, if something like this happens again and I ask my player to not say a word, he will tell me, ‘Even if I don’t say anything, I will be fined 50 per cent of my fees. So, I might as well abuse the guy and be fined rather than losing my money for being abused’.”
When asked whether he wants the BCCI to go ahead with the appeal, Dhoni said without any hesitation, “Definitely”.