Stuart Broad has been charged by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle with throwing the ball "inappropriately" at Pakistan's wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, as England were frustrated in their push for victory on the third day of the second Test at Edgbaston. The level two offence carries the possible punishment of a one-match ban, or a 50% fine.
The incident occurred during a defiant seventh-wicket stand between Haider, who made 88, and Mohammad Amir, whose gutsy 16 spanned 117 deliveries. Broad fielded a drive in his followthrough, and petulantly hurled the ball at Zulqarnain, striking the player on the shoulder in an incident reminiscent of Simon Jones' misjudged shy at Matthew Hayden during the NatWest one-day series in 2005.
However, whereas Jones immediately apologised for his action on that occasion, Broad's reaction was to gesture half-heartedly at the batsman before turning on his heel and marching back to the top of his mark, leading Salman Butt, Pakistan's captain, to voice his disapproval at the close of the day's play.
"Cricket is a gentleman's game but I think they got frustrated," said Butt. "It's not good to see people throwing balls intentionally at others, and not even excusing [themselves] properly. The throw was just one thing. There were plenty words as well, as everyone could see, and people kicking their bowling marks. It's just frustration when you have been bowling too long."
Graeme Swann, who starred for England with career-best figures of 6 for 60, admitted that England had got frustrated as their hopes of an innings victory were thwarted, but disagreed with Butt that there had been no apology forthcoming.
"Knowing Broady as I do, he certainly didn't have any malice behind it - and he can't throw the ball hard enough to hurt anyone anyway," said Swann. "He apologised straightaway. It was just a sign of the frustrations that were going on."
Aside from a reprimand for excessive logos, Broad - whose father is the ICC match referee, Chris Broad - has never yet been found guilty of a breach of the ICC's Code of Conduct, despite numerous moments in his three-year Test career when he has sailed close to the wind.
His persistent failure to acknowledge the umpire when appealing for lbws has irked several onlookers, while he escaped without punishment after stepping on the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa back in January.