India's captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has complained bitterly about the "very hurtful decision" to fine Ravindra Jadeja for his alleged spat with Jimmy Anderson during the First Investec Test.
Jadeja was fined 50 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council over the fracas, reported to have taken place in the Trent Bridge pavilion stairwell.
England fast bowler Anderson will face a more stringent punishment – up to a four-Test ban – if he is found guilty at a hearing on Friday of the Level Three charge of "abusing and pushing" Jadeja.
Ahead of the Third Test in Southampton, which starts today, Dhoni – Jadeja's batting partner as they made their way off for lunch on day two in Nottingham – has raised the stakes with his recollection of events, which is sure to be of interest to the ICC's judicial commissioner, Gordon Lewis.
Dhoni acknowledged that no right of appeal is available for the judgment against Jadeja. But he was critical of the process. Dhoni did not name Anderson but said: "We started walking and there is an individual who used foul language against Jadeja – I had to step in the middle, and by the time we reached the ropes I thought the thing had defused. By the time we were through the members' area, I was ahead of Jadeja. He was a couple of yards behind me and again something happened."
Dhoni insisted Jadeja was an innocent party: "Something was said to him, and he just turned to the individual – and after that he was pushed, and he barely gained his balance." He added: "He turned to see what is happening. On the basis of that, he is fined. The thing that was told is that it was against the spirit of the game – but what we have to say is that we can't ignore whatever has happened."