India vs Australia: ICC rules out ball-tampering, fines Jadeja for applying cream on finger

India vs Australia: ICC rules out ball-tampering, fines Jadeja for applying cream on finger

  • ICC fined Jadeja 25% match fee for breaching code of conduct
  • India crushed Australia by an innings and 132 runs in 1st Test
  • The hosts went 1-0 up in the four-match Test series

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has ruled out a possibility of ball tampering from Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test between India and Australia. But the Indian all-rounder has been fined 25% of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first Test against Australia in Nagpur.

"Jadeja was found to have breached Article 2.20 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to displaying conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game. In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Jadeja's disciplinary record. This was his first offence in a 24-month period," the ICC confirmed in an official release.

Coming back to Team India's duty after five months, Jadeja had a fine outing in the Nagpur Test, which India won by an innings and 132 runs on Saturday. With this, the hosts went 1-0 up in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Jadeja won the Player of the Match for his all-round performance, where he picked up seven wickets and scored a crucial 185-ball 70.

During the 46th over of Australia's first innings on Thursday (Feb. 9), Jadeja was seen applying a soothing cream to his index finger. In the video footage, the left-arm spinner took a substance from Mohammed Siraj's palm and appeared to rub this onto the index finger of his left hand.

Later on, the India team management explained that the finger spinner was applying the cream to a swelling on the index finger of his bowling hand. However, this was done without asking for permission from the on-field umpires.

"Jadeja admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing," the ICC release further added.

"In reaching his decision to sanction the player along with the Level 1 sanction he enforced, the Match Referee was satisfied that the cream was applied to the finger purely for medical purposes. The cream was not applied as an artificial substance to the ball and consequently, it did not change the condition of the ball, which would have been in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC playing conditions – Unfair Play – The Match Ball – Changing its Condition.

"On-field umpires Nitin Menon and Richard Illingworth, third umpire Michael Gough and fourth umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan levelled the charge," the ICC release read further.

ICC's Level 1 breaches hand a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee, and one or two demerit points.

Meanwhile, Jadeja missed out on recording 250 Test wickets on Saturday. Jadeja first claimed the milestone wicket by dismissing Australia's Steve Smith in Australia's second innings. But the delivery was declared a no-ball and the Indian all-rounder got stranded at 245.

"I'm feeling amazing. When you come back after five months and give your 100 percent, scoring runs and taking wickets. It feels amazing. I was working hard at the NCA. Would like to thank the NCA staff, and physios. They have been working hard with me, even on Sundays.

"I was looking to bowl in good areas. Ball was spinning, going straight, keeping low. Kept telling myself to bowl at the stumps - if they make mistake, I have a chance. I look to keep things simple. Try not to change things with my batting. It's a crucial number - 5, 6, 7," said Jadeja at the post-match presentation on Saturday.

The second Test between India and Australia is scheduled to begin on Feb. 17 in Delhi.

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