Why Jadeja was allowed to appeal
Ravindra Jadeja's appeal against his initial guilty Level 1 verdict wasn't technically an appeal. Judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis' written verdict has explained that it was treated like a new case heard from the start.
That should also explain why the appeal was allowed in the first case: this was being considered a Level 2 offence, not Level 1 as Jadeja was found guilty of. The ICC had earlier disallowed the appeal because even though this was Jadeja's second Level 1 offence in a year, both had been under different sub-codes - 2.1.4 and 2.1.8. As it was with James Anderson's not-guilty verdict, there wasn't enough evidence to find Jadeja guilty of any offence, which raises questions about match referee David Boon's original sentence.
"As part of that decision, the match referee had reduced the level of the charge against Jadeja to Level 1 and pursuant to Article 8.1.1 an appeal against a Level 1 offence is not permitted," Lewis' verdict said. "However, because any appeal from a decision of a match referee is heard de novo [afresh] by a disciplinary commissioner, I ruled that any rulings by the match referee no longer had any effect and a commissioner commences the hearing of the appeal with a clean sheet, that is with the charge against Jadeja in its original form, i.e. alleging a Level 2 offence and was thus appealable."
Once the case began again, it stood no chance in Lewis' court because of conflicting witnesses, heavily biased towards their own teams, and with no proper audio or video evidence to prove anyone's guilt.
"In short, I am not satisfied that the Level 2 charge against Jadeja has been made out to a standard of proof with which I am comfortably satisfied, and as I have previously announced, his appeal against the ruling of the match referee is upheld," Lewis explained. "I am not prepared to exercise my discretion to substitute a lesser charge, as I could not be satisfied even at Level 1, that the necessary standard of proof has been met. In the circumstances this matter is also dismissed."
Given the lack of evidence, it shouldn't come as surprise that India were aggrieved at the original verdict handed out by Boon.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo