The Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson case is gaining heat ahead of the England fast bowler's hearing on Friday for allegedly pushing the India player.
India skipper MS Dhoni slammed ICC Match Referee David Boon on Thursday for imposing a fine of 50% of his match fee on Jadeja for behaviour that went against the spirit of the game.He had insisted that Jadeja was never aggressive and kept his bat tucked under his arm while he was being abused.
Video: 'I am hurt by Jadeja verdict': Dhoni
However, reports have emerged that England players Ben Stokes and Matt Prior gave evidence before Boon that Jadeja turned towards Anderson with a raised bat, cricket website cricinfo reported on Sunday.
"At the hearing, England witnesses Stokes and Prior suggested to Boon that Jadeja had turned threateningly towards Anderson, and the England fast bowler had acted in self defence," it reported.
Stokes even claimed that Jadeja pushed Anderson first, it said. With no video evidence available, the ICC judicial commissioner, Gordon Lewis, will have to rely solely on witnesses during the August 1 hearing on the Level 3 charge against Anderson. The pacer can be banned for up to four Tests if found guilty.
R Ashwin and Gautam Gambhir are India's witnesses of the incident that happened during the lunch break on the second day of the Trent Bridge Test. Dhoni has said the BCCI will appeal against Jadeja's punishment.
With both sides aggressive, the ICC CEO David Richardson urged Dhoni and Alastair Cook to respect the judicial process and not comment on the case.
"We are satisfied that Mr Boon carefully and comprehensively considered the evidence and submissions presented to him at the hearing, which included conflicting evidence from both sides, prior to making his decision," he said in a statement.
"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."