LONDON – James Anderson of England could be banned from the fourth Test at his Old Trafford home ground after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Tuesday a full hearing into allegations he had abused and pushed India's Ravindra Jadeja would take place by video conference on August 1.
Anderson is free to play in the third Test against India in Southampton starting on Sunday -- with his hearing due to take place the day after the scheduled finish of that match. But the severity of the charge that has been levelled against him by India means Anderson is facing a possible ban of up to four Tests, should ICC code of conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge, find against him.
A four-Test ban would rule the Lancashire seamer out of both next month's Old Trafford fixture and the finale of the five-match India series at The Oval in south London. But the ICC added the counter-charges laid by England against Jadeja would be heard not by Lewis but by match referee David Boon, the former Australia batsman.
However, the details of this hearing are being worked out and will be announced in due course, the global governing body said in a statement after Lewis held a preliminary hearing via a teleconference, involving the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and their respective lawyers on Tuesday.
Last week, India charged Anderson the ICC's code of conduct for what they said was his physical, as well as verbal confrontation with all-rounder Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge on July 10. India team manager Sunil Dev accused Anderson of committing a Level Three offence under the ICC code.
England team manager Phil Neale charged Jadeja in response, but only with a lesser Level Two offence in what appeared to be a move designed to avoid admitting a physical confrontation had taken place. Level Three offences can see a player banned for up to four Tests. A Level Two offence carries a ban of up to one Test, or two one-day internationals, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.
India are due to play five one-day internationals in England after the end of their Test series, so the timing of Jadeja's hearing could have a bearing on what type of ban, if any, he receives should Boon find him guilty. After Tuesday's preliminary hearing the ICC said that, under the code, Lewis, as a judicial commissioner, had the option to punish Anderson for a lesser offence should he find him not guilty of the one with which he had been charged.
Under ICC regulations, Lewis's judgement will be delivered within 48 hours of a hearing at 9:00am local (0800GMT). However, Anderson has the right of appeal against a decision by Lewis, who will also set the date from which any suspension will commence. The fourth Test is scheduled to start on August 7. Jadeja and Anderson were photographed shaking hands after the former ran the latter out to complete India's 95-run in the second Test at Lord's on Monday.
Victory, only their second in a Test at Lord's and their first overseas for three years, put India 1-0 up in the series ahead of this weekend's encounter at Southampton's Ageas Bowl.