Sydney, Oct 31 : Australian team is angry that Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was not charged with a more serious offence following his mid-pitch collision with all rounder Shane Watson during the third Test.
Match referee Chris Broad charged Gambhir with a level-two offence of not conducting play "within the spirit of the game as well as within the laws of cricket" after a dust-up with Watson during which he raised his elbow into the all-rounder's chest, a reflex the batsman later claimed was an accident.
Watson was charged with a level-one offence under the same section of the players' code of conduct for not playing within the spirit of the game, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Cricket Australia operations manager Michael Brown denied that the Australians had attempted to have Gambhir's charge upgraded, saying it was a matter for the ICC.
The paper reported that the Australians are privately aggrieved that the ICC did not invoke clause 2.4 of the code of conduct, which deals with "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play".
Had Gambhir been accused of making inappropriate physical contact, the charge would have been upgraded to a level-three offence on account of a previous mid-pitch collision with Pakistan's Shahid Afridi for which he was fined 65 per cent of his match fee in November last year.
Gambhir has been banned for one Test match for being found guilty under Level 2.4 of International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct. Watson has been fined 10 per cent of the match fee by match referee Chris Broad.
Both players were charged with violating the "spirit of the game" under the Code of Conduct.
After his tangle with Watson, Gambhir claimed the Australian had been trying to distract him but was adamant he did not raise his elbow deliberately. In the previous Test in Mohali, he chirped at Australia's batsmen relentlessly, particularly at Clarke.