Captains Alastair Cook and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been urged to desist from any further public comment about the spat involving James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja, until the case has been fully heard.
The International Cricket Council issued a statement requesting that “all relevant parties ... respect the judicial process”.
Jadeja has already been fined half his match fee, a sum thought to be in the region of £3,000, for his part in the reported fracas in the Trent Bridge pavilion stairwell during the first Test between England and India.
Anderson faces a Level Three charge, under the ICC’s code of conduct disciplinary procedure, at a full hearing before judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis on Friday – the day after the scheduled conclusion of the third Test.
The scale of punishment available if he is found guilty of “abusing and pushing” the India all-rounder extends to the possibility of a four-Test ban.
Cook spoke out on the eve of the second Test at Lord’s last week, describing the matter as a “mountain out of a molehill” and Dhoni publicly divulged some of his eye-witness evidence of what happened in Nottingham, as well as describing Jadeja’s punishment as “very hurtful”.
The world governing body responded with a press release which read: “The ICC urged all relevant parties to respect the judicial process in relation to the alleged incident that took place during the first Test at Trent Bridge, which has resulted in charges being brought against England’s James Anderson and India’s Ravindra Jadeja.”
ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “I request all stakeholders to respect the process which remains ongoing and remind them of their duties to the integrity of the process and the sport so that we can focus on the game of cricket itself.”
Sri Lanka are on course to beat South Africa with one day to play in the second Test in Colombo – weather permitting.
After dismissing the Proteas for 282 in response to their first innings of 421, Sri Lanka declared on 229-8 – setting Hashim Amla’s men 369 runs to win the match and take the two-Test series 2-0.
South Africa, in their 17 overs before rain and bad light brought play to an end, reached 38-1 in reply – 331 runs shy of what would be the joint sixth highest fourth-innings run chase in Test cricket.
Showers are expected today, however, which could thwart Sri Lanka’s efforts to draw the series after losing the first Test by 153 runs.