England's Test series against India erupted last night after the tourists accused fast-bowler James Anderson of pushing and verbally abusing their batsman Ravindra Jadeja.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan called India’s allegations “pathetic”, and suggested they were a ploy to get Anderson banned for the conclusion of the five-match series.
England chiefs said Anderson “categorically denied” the claims, which they said related to “a minor incident”. They added that they would lodge a counter-complaint against Jadeja.
Indian officials allege Anderson verbally abused Jadeja as they walked off for lunch on the second day of the drawn first Test last week, and that the confrontation turned physical inside the pavilion.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have charged Anderson and could ban him for the final two Tests if he is found guilty of a level three breach of their code of conduct.
England’s frontline seamer is clear to play in the second Test, which starts tomorrow at Lord’s, and next week’s match at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl, however, as the ICC take 14 days to gather evidence.
“All these Jimmy allegations seem a little pathetic to me,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter. “If it had been so bad why wasn’t something done straight away on day two? Tactics to get Jimmy banned for the series? IMO [in my opinion].”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it had “reacted with surprise that the India team has made allegations against James Anderson... for a minor incident involving Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test match at Trent Bridge. In light of this the ECB has notified the ICC of its intention to lodge code of conduct breaches against Jadeja. James Anderson categorically denies the accusations and the ECB have pledged their total support for the player.”
The row heightens tensions between two sides desperate to end barren runs. England have not won a Test match in nine attempts while India are without a win overseas since 2011.