England, India set for Anderson hearing
The Southampton Test has ended but the tussle between the two sides will continue into a sixth day with the hearing into the Trent Bridge incident between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja scheduled on Friday, with massive implications on the series.
India charged Anderson with a Level 3 offence before the second Test, at Lord's, following an alleged altercation in the first. India contend that Anderson pushed Jadeja when the players were walking back for lunch on day two of the Trent Bridge Test. If found guilty, he could face a ban of up to four Tests.
The hearing will take place in India's team hotel, with the judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis listening in via Skype from Australia. Jadeja and Anderson will be mandatory presences. Apart from their legal team, India are likely to be have captain MS Dhoni, coach Duncan Fletcher and physiotherapist Evan Speechly in attendance. An ICC ethics and regulatory lawyer will be present.
The hearing will be almost like a court case, with oral witnesses, legal submissions, cross examinations and video evidence if it exists. If the video evidence doesn't exist, it is, like Sydney 2008, one team's word against the other. England's response during Jadeja's hearing was that the India allrounder had turned around aggressively, and that Anderson had acted in self-defence.
The onus will be on the ICC to provide evidence. Principles of natural justice will take effect: ICC's legal team will have to prove Anderson's guilt beyond reasonable doubt to get their desired result, a sentence under Level 3. Jadeja, who was found guilty under Level 1 (after being charged at Level 2) by match referee David Boon in the same case, has earned the right to appeal his verdict. His case will also come up for hearing during the same meeting.
Lewis will have 48 hours to deliver his verdict. If Anderson is found guilty under Level 3, there is a provision for an appeal against it. Only the player found guilty or the ICC CEO can appeal, within seven days of having received the verdict. The ICC's Head of Legal would then appoint an Appeals Panel, comprising three members from ICC Code of Conduct commission. However, Lewis' decision will remain in effect while under appeal, unless any properly convened Appeal Panel orders otherwise. India have no right of appeal if Anderson is not found guilty under Level 3.
Anderson's hearing will follow the day after he was adjudged Man of the Match in the Ageas Bowl Test. "I don't know what's going to happen," Anderson said. "I want to be playing at Old Trafford, my home Test, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.
"We've done brilliantly, the ECB have done a great job of keeping everything separate. So once we get to the ground it was all about the cricket and how we would win the Test match - and that's exactly what we did this week. Everyone did it brilliantly. Once we got on the field the only thoughts we had were winning."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo