India in England 2014 August 5, 2014

ECB offered to investigate Anderson


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Anderson has handled it brilliantly - Bell

James Anderson could have been dealt a sterner sanction than the not guilty verdict in the official hearing about the incident with Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge if India had been willing to continue negotiations with the ECB. However, India would have had to take back the original Level 3 charge against Anderson.

ESPNcricinfo has learned that after India officially levelled the charge against Anderson, talks between ECB and BCCI officials about the possibility of ECB resolving the matter through an ECB internal disciplinary process collapsed in the face of BCCI demands for a minimum sanction of a two-Test suspension for Anderson.

There were also talks between Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket, and Duncan Fletcher, the India coach. While a BCCI official alleges that Downton offered to 'rest' Anderson for one Test in the current series if the charges were withdrawn, and then threatened the counter-charge which was ultimately laid against Jadeja when the offer was declined, that is strongly denied by Downton and the ECB.

They insist that no offers were made as there could be no presumption of Anderson's guilt ahead of the disciplinary process.

While the BCCI has interpreted such offers of settlement as an admission of guilt, the judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis, who heard the case, did not make a mention of the Downton-Fletcher exchange when arriving at the not-guilty verdict. Other than that, with no video or audio evidence available and vastly conflicting and "hopelessly biased" witness accounts provided by both sides, Lewis said he had no choice but to acquit both Anderson and Jadeja.

The incident took place the second day of the first Test of the series, when both the sides were walking off for lunch. India alleged that Anderson abused Jadeja continuously and then pushed him when Jadeja "half-turned" to look at the man abusing him from behind. England did not deny that Anderson pushed Jadeja, but said he did so in instinctive self-defence. The webcam in the corridor where the incident took place was not on that day.

The ICC chief executive, Dave Richardson, has until August 10 to appeal against Lewis' ruling and he is the only person who has the right to appeal.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roderick on August 6, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Check out the grammar whenever "Gentleman's game" is used. The possessive apostrophe! It is a game for, or owned by, or controlled by gentlemen. Nothing to do with genteel behaviour.

  • Debajit on August 6, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    I think all the players should be allowed to carry a voice recorder to be used as evidence against these kind of issues. There are myriads of tiny voice recorders available these days.

  • Jason on August 6, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    @Sir_Ivor, did you ever face them on the field? Most people cant hear what is said on the field as they are 90-120 meters away from the centre of action, especially over the top of the general conversations, and discussions in the crowd.

    However I do agree that it has got more personal over the last few decades, possibly starting with in the 70's and gaining momentum under the 'mental distintigration' technique proposed by Steve Waugh.

    However, Its the umpires job to step and tell the players to cool it, and start issuing level 1 offences when it goes too far.

  • Android on August 6, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Sportsmenship loosing to ego ?

  • John on August 6, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    It's time to let this one go. I hope and trust Dave Richardson will point out to the BCCI that there's no question of law here, the Commissioner found as a matter of fact that it was impossible to assign blame based on the lack of independent evidence and conflicting stories he heard. It's a well-established principle that someone can't be tried twice for the same offence. Just because the BCCI doesn't agree with the verdict doesn't mean that Anderson should be tried again.

    The revelation in this article seems to indicate that getting Anderson banned was more important to the BCCI than whether or not he was guilty. To suggest as a pre-condition of an investigation that a ban must be imposed is totally contrary to natural justice.

    @dunger.bob: you're exactly right and players such as Fred Trueman and Dennis Lillee were well-known for their abrasive attitude on the field. It's just that they didn't have cameras and microphones up their noses catching everything that went on.

  • Mansoor on August 6, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    I almost forgot that there is a test series tied at 1-1 between Ind & Eng. Right now whoever comes out victorious out of this senseless, utterly ridiculous Anderson- Jadeja story seems to be winning the battle. No one seems to care about the series anymore.

  • Steven on August 6, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    I believe both sides haven't come out of this looking good at all both players should have been guilty of something and punished accordingly and there team mates should have been told to shut up and stop defending there guys cos they wouldn't have a clue what actually happened most of them this has been handled very badly from all parties concerned plus the fact India want to carry this on further is good news for England on the field can't see India being even competitive now that there focus is not on cricket to me the verdict was wrong but for India to carry this on they are just digging there own grave for the rest of this series what are they going to actually achieve by protesting this all they are doing is distracting there own players from performing on the field so all they are doing is hurting themselves and the sad thing is they don't realise that

  • rob on August 6, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    I have a theory that the apparent decline in the gentlemanly behaviour is directly proportional to the amount of scrutiny the players are under. I'll try to explain. We often see the 1950's/1960's put up as paragons of virtue. "they didn't sledge back then" is a common theme. Well, are we really so sure about that. There's virtually no video of cricket in those times and all we really have to go on is a bunch of failing memories. .. These days we have high definition pictures and sound which highlights every little thing a player does on the field. It's much easier to get caught now and what's even worse is that there are millions of viewers out there actively looking for this sort of thing. Back in the day that just didn't happen. If you weren't at the ground you saw nothing.

    Here's another suggestion. The ICC should employ a number of neutral interpretors to monitor each game so that they can detect sledging in all relevant languages, not just English. .. if you get what I mean.

  • Shuraim on August 6, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. Exactly what my thoughts are over this whole gentlmen's game argument so well put up mate. Can't agree more.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2014, 1:12 GMT

    Apropos Mark10modo's comment .. The phrase "gentlemen's game" has roots in the history of the game itself. In my understanding it was after-lunch summer time pass for gentlemen and lords. Many of them were too lazy or too bulky or too full to run between the wickets. The concept of "runner" also took birth then.

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