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I am hurt by the verdict against Jadeja: Dhoni

India captain says he wants the BCCI to appeal against the 50 per cent fine imposed

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.

“To me it is a very hurtful decision because I felt a lot of things were neglected in judging the case,” Dhoni said, before narrating the whole incident in detail.

“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”.

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Report: Ind A vs SA A, Match 8

Karn Sharma powers India to beat South Africa A in a thriller

India A registered their third win in the ongoing Quadrangular series in Australia by beating South Africa A by a wicket in Match No. 8 of the tournament at the Garden Oval in Darwin. Leggie Karn Sharma was the most successful bowler grabbing two for 35 in 10 overs and then he smashed a 16-ball-39 at crucial juncture to finish the match with a ball to spare.

Batting first, South Africa A scored 275 for eight in 50 overs with Rilee Russouw scoring 137 off 150 balls with 15 boundaries with next best score being 29 by Farhan Behardien.

Chasing the competitive score, skipper Robin Uthappa (46) and Unmukt Chand put up an 84-run opening stand until the former was trapped lbw by Justin Ontong. Chand carried on to score 53 while Vohra slammed 52 off 31 balls. But the middle-order caved in to the Marchant de Lange-led attack in quick succession.

After the fall of four quick wickets, Sanju Samson and Rishi Dhawan stitched a 44-run partnership to stem the fall of wickets and keep India A in the game. But the team faced another mini collapse as de Lange dismissed both batsmen with the score on 221. Sharma however, held his nerve to take India to the target.

Earlier, Rilee Rossouw ensured South Africa A comfortable total while batting first. The batsman made 137 runs even as wickets collapsed at the other end without much resistance. Dhawal Kulkarni dealt the first blow by sending back opener Heino Kuhn with just seven runs on the board. And 60 runs later Manan Vohra caught Reeza Hendricks of his own bowling for 24.

The India A attack then struck at regular intervals while the No 3 batsman held up one end. Kulkarni, Rishi Dhawan and Karn Sharma picked two wickets each while Parvez Rasool and Vohra took one apiece.

Brief scores: South Arica A 275/8 in 50 overs (R Rossouw 137, K Sharma 2/35, D Kulkarni 2/47) lost to India A 276/9 in 49.5 overs (U Chand 53, M Vohra 52, K Sharma 39*, M de Lange 3/71) by 1 wicket.