Anderson v Jadeja: the hearing
Lord's, Tuesday Morning: ICC Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis appears from Australia on a grainy laptop screen on a table in the Long Room. In front of it stand Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson, staring at their feet and looking a bit sheepish.
Lewis: Right, you two scallywags. Just to explain, we're holding this meeting on Skype because your offences are classified as "quite naughty", meaning they're serious enough for us to go through with all this business, but not serious enough for the ICC to fly me to London. Hands out of pockets, please. You're not at home now.
Anderson: Sorry, Mr Lewis.
Jadeja: Sorry, Mr Lewis.
Lewis: It's Judicial Commissioner to you. Well, my full title is Lord Judicial Commissioner of the Cricketing Fiefdom, but I don't use that because we don't like to get too grandiose at the ICC.
Anderson: Sorry, Judicial Commissioner.
Jadeja: Sorry, Judicial Commissioner.
Lewis: I'll let it slide. You're in enough trouble already. So, let's get going. Ravindra, tell me what happened at Trent Bridge. And could you flick your mic volume up a bit, please?
Jadeja: Okay… so anyway, he started it. He was calling me names like Triple Ton Rockstar and saying I couldn't turn a door handle. Then he said Shikhar had a nicer moustache than me, pushed me really hard and spilt my Pepsi Max.
Lewis: I see. Is this true, James?
Anderson: Not at all. He started it. He was calling me the Burnley Llama and then came at me in a threatening and aggressive manner.
Lewis: How exactly did he do that?
Anderson: He looked at me a bit funny.
Lewis: Right, okay.
Well, you both seem to fundamentally disagree with each other's story, so we're going to need some independent verification of events. Ravindra, who do you have as your defence witness?
Jadeja: Mr Tendulkar, Judicial Commissioner.
Lewis: Er, okay. Was he actually there?
Jadeja: Of course, Judicial Commissioner. He's omnipresent.
Lewis: Right, fine. Send him in then.
Sachin enters and squeezes in between Anderson and Jadeja.
Lewis: Hello, Mr Tendulkar. Thank you for helping us out here. Would you mind just tilting the screen up a bit? Yes, that's okay. So tell me what you saw.
Sachin: Well, I didn't see anything really but it wasn't Bhajji's fault.
Lewis: Um, do you mean it wasn't Jaddu's fault?
Sachin: Yes, sorry. That's what I meant.
Lewis: No problem. Do you have anything else to add?
Sachin: You're much nicer than that Mike Procter.
Lewis: Well, that's very kind of you. Just wait there for a second, please. Now James, Mr Tendulkar has given some pretty damning evidence against you. Have you got a counter-witness to refute his allegations?
Anderson: I have, indeed.
Lewis: Okay, well send them in.
Anderson: She's on conference call actually.
A blonde figure appears in the corner of their screens.
Lewis: Ah, yes. There she is. Good morning, young lady. Your full name, please?
Witness: Maria Sharapova.
Lewis (gesturing at Sachin): Do you recognise this man?
Lewis (gesturing at Anderson): Do you recognise this man?
Lewis (gesturing at Jadeja): Do you recognise this man?
Lewis: Do you recognise me?
Sharapova: Weren't you the guy who went for 113 runs off his ten overs in the 438 game in Johannesburg?
Lewis: No, Miss Sharapova. That's Mick Lewis. I'm Gordon.
Sharapova: Oh sorry. Can I go now?
Lewis (sighing): Yes, fine. Well, I can see we're getting nowhere here. Both of you have been deliberately misleading and unhelpful in this hearing, so I have no option but to ban the two of you for the rest of the series.
A phone rings.
Lewis: Oh, I'm so sorry. Let me just take this. Hello, Mr Chairman… you've heard my verdict… yes, I do like being Judicial Commissioner… I should have a rethink and if I don't you'll replace me with Ravi Shastri? Yes, that's fine, I understand. I'm very sorry. I will. Take care.
Jadeja: Who was that?
Lewis: Oh no one, no one. But I've had time to reconsider. Mr Anderson, you're now banned for the whole Test series and the ODIs. Mr Jadeja, you're free to carry on playing as you please and Mr Anderson has to wash and iron your whites every day. Everyone happy?
Anderson: Well, not really. It seems a bit unfair. Am I allowed to get the decision reviewed?
Lewis: No, you're not. And you're fined $2000 for making a lame DRS joke.
Anderson: Sorry, Judicial Commissioner.
Lewis: I should think so, too. Case dismissed!
Everyone hangs up and checks their Twitter mentions.
James Marsh writes Pavilion Opinions. He is also a Tefl teacher whose students learn superlatives by being shown Graham Thorpe videos