Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the Nagpur Test against Australia, has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) - 25% of his match fee and given one demerit point for applying an ointment on his finger without informing the umpires.
"The India team management had explained that the finger spinner was applying the cream to a swelling on the index finger of his bowling hand. This was done without asking for permission from the on-field umpires," the ICC said in a media release.
"In reaching his decision to sanction the player along with the Level 1 sanction he imposed, 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," said the ICC statement.
There was footage played out on the Internet showing Ravindra Jadeja taking something from Mohammed Siraj’s hands and applying it to his palm while bowling on the opening day of the Nagpur Test against Australia. The video showed that Jadeja appeared to rub this substance onto the index finger of his left hand before bowling a delivery. However, Jadeja was never seen applying the substance to the ball itself.
That created a mini-controversy of sorts and when match referee Andy Pycroft was made aware of the video, he sought clarification from Indian skipper Rohit Sharma. However, it turned out that Jadeja was applying some cream to his hand in order to ease the pain.
The complaint, however, didn’t come from the Australian team.
"On-field umpires Nitin Menon and Richard Illingworth, third umpire Michael Gough and fourth umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan levelled the charge," stated the ICC in its release.