India in England 2014 August 3, 2014

Over to the ICC

The implications of the Anderson-Jadeja verdict go beyond its narrow legal parameters; it's time the ICC stepped in and acted for the good of the game
31

Play 05:33
Giles: Completely unnecessary behaviour

On day three of the Southampton Test, India's debutant fast bowler Pankaj Singh came out to bat. After Pankaj had spent a couple of minutes out in the middle, a roll of tape was brought out and handed over to one of the on-field umpires, who proceeded to bend in front of the tall bowler and stick pieces of tape on errant manufacturers' labels on his pads. Had the umpire not helped Pankaj save himself from the heinous crime of ambush marketing in time, Pankaj would have lost part of his earnings from a match the 29-year-old had been dreaming of playing for most of his adult life.

Two Tests ago, two players got into an incident during which a lot of puerile personal abuse was thrown about and one player pushed another, either unprovoked or in self-defence depending on whose testimony you believe. Neither was so much as reprimanded. If the ICC is serious about its Code of Conduct and setting an example to the kids watching, Dave Richardson, its CEO, should appeal this verdict - only the game's governing body can appeal - and seek some sort of sanction to set an example. He shouldn't need the BCCI to try to convince him. For, right now, the verdict suggests that incessant mindless abuse is okay as long as it is not heard on the stump microphone.

The judicial commissioner in the case, who has been sound in deciding that the evidence on the table didn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that James Anderson pushed Ravindra Jadeja unprovoked, has also noted in his verdict: "I am satisfied that personal contact did occur between Anderson and Jadeja but the extent and force of that contact is unknown, despite Jadeja's response in cross examination that the push was hard and caused him to break stride." The commissioner noted that the breaking-the-stride bit was an "embellishment" on Jadeja's earlier testimony, but he had no doubt that contact did take place.

If physical contact took place, clearly after built-up tension because of incessant abuse, it shouldn't matter whose fault it was. It doesn't matter if both the players are sanctioned, it doesn't matter if the sanctions are not of the same level as originally charged, what happened at Trent Bridge should not be less bothersome than a player spending two seconds at the wicket and pointing to his bat when he has been given out lbw off a thick inside edge.

"In my view what umpire [Bruce] Oxenford heard [mid-pitch] was much worse than the exchange ascribed to Anderson at the boundary line," says the verdict. "I can only assume that a much more robust approach is taken by umpires to swearing in the Test arena than I had previously imagined and the boundary exchange does not warrant disciplinary action if the earlier insult directed to Dhoni did not."

The verdict also talks about what was said mid-pitch. "Second, it is not in issue that earlier in the morning umpire Oxenford took the action he describes in para 6 of his statement, where he said, 'I heard Anderson use foul and abusive language to Dhoni. In particular I heard Anderson say, "You're a f***ing fat c**t" to Dhoni.' However, apart from ordering Anderson to say nothing further to the batsman (I assume of an abusive nature) umpire Oxenford did not deem that language sufficiently serious to lodge a report about the incident with the match referee, even though it seems to have been in breach of article 2.1.4 in that it was language that was obscene, offensive and insulting."

It is surprising, though, that the judge chose to not overrule Oxenford's leniency. This is like a court saying if the police didn't register a legitimate complaint, it won't take any action either.

Apart from that, the judgement makes a sound argument in deciding to not charge Anderson at all. Most provisions in the ICC sanctions involve match-fee fines and bans for a match or two. Playing matches is the only source of livelihood for most cricketers. The commissioner has reasoned that when it comes to matters of livelihood, the required standard of proof was provided. Livelihood comes from workplaces. People have responsibilities in workplaces. One of them is to not use foul and offensive language.

Cricket, though, is different from other workplaces. We often celebrate witty attempts at unsettling the opposition in cricket, and call it sledging. The ICC has had codes in place to cut out the inane abuse, while retaining the human element of psychology in the contest. It has always been of the view that the kids should see their role models as better people than those who resort to foul language when things are don't going their way. This verdict defeats the ICC.

By all accounts, this was not the strongest case either way. The incident took place in a narrow corridor that was not monitored. The witnesses were biased. At least one set of them lied. Only the sinister would think that either side planned the incident or the action in response to it relying on there being no evidence. It still jars that this whole business has not been criticised by the commissioner or the ICC.

Outside of the parties involved, strange triumphalism and schadenfreude has followed the verdict, especially considering that India emerged victorious in a similar he-said-she-said case in Sydney in 2007-08. Some have said India should man up, which is a poor understanding of manliness. One British broadsheet headlined the story as India's humiliation; it is actually cricket and the ICC that are being humiliated. This was the ICC's case all along. India just brought it to the ICC's notice. It is still the ICC's case. Your move, Dave Richardson.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 5, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    So now, we know that (1) Umpire Bruce Oxenford heard Anderson using unacceptable language on the field of play. (2) He chose not to report it. (3) The ICC Commissioner is aware of the offence. (4) Chose to take no action against it. This tolerance of confirmed usage of abusive language is not consistent with ICC match referee's behaviour at Sydney 2008, where the match referee had tried to use his authority to suspend Harbhajan Singh without evidence ! Over to you Mr. Dave Richardson, as the author says.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on August 5, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    It is very unfortunate that cricket at Test level has become so personally competitive, but the questions should be directed at the Waugh era Australians - so successful but masters of unpleasantness on the field. Others were bound to emulate them in order to approach their degree of domination, especially since the umpires obviously did not feel it was as offensive as most of your correspondents (and I) do.

    Jimmy Anderson initially had a reputation for being a shy and modest individual - I suspect that he has merely adopted the Oz approach since it clearly proved very successful. Others, who felt he "got away" with his charge might reflect that the judgment did make clear that "the other side" exaggerated their case.

  • thewhiteflame on August 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Raki99 you have all wrong... Both players should have been fined 100 percent of their match fees for bringing the game into disrepute. What we have seen s the difference of opinion between an ex cicketer and lawman.

  • sray23 on August 5, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    I think it's not practical to regulate on-field behaviours by off-field procedures like inquests, commissions and hearings. They take at least 1-2 weeks to conduct, require all sorts of lawyering and evidence-gathering and in the end if it's not a firm verdict (like this case), then all parties involved end up feeling their time is wasted. On field problems like sledging should be solved by on-field method. The most obvious method? GIVE THE UMPIRES MORE POWER & DISCRETION. And this should include the power to suspend players for personal abuse. If the umpires themselves are the judges and players know their behaviour is being watched closely, rest assured they will control their lips a bit more. In the short term, this shift may lead to some umpires misinterpreting the code of conduct rules (or interpreting them too strongly), but in the long term they should go a long way in controlling senseless behaviour.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on August 4, 2014, 21:30 GMT

    Anderson couldn't be punished due to lack of reliable evidence but Dhoni and Fletcher have still done the game a service, intentionally or not, by exposing the level of abuse that now seem commonplace in the game. I'm honestly quite shocked by it. Maybe I'm naive. But this if this is now considered acceptable then I'll find another sport for my kids to play.

  • Raki99 on August 4, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    David Boon as become the laughing stock in this All ordeal.. He punished jadeja and now has to eat the humble pie..

  • on August 4, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    James Anderson got away scot free just because of some technical lacunae. This in nonsense. Aggressive my foot! We are not boxing or wrestling. There is a whole lot of difference between being aggressive and competitive. Be competitive not Aggressive. Shame on ICC for making the game so complicated. Why cant the abusive language be banned completely. If you abuse, treat like a noball, free hit. Or some punishment right there and then. This needs to change. I have two young daughters and watching a match where such words are used under the garb of aggressive play is unpalatable and tasteless. Appreciate the efforts of agencies like Cricinfo in bringing attention to such a serious issue for cricket lovers like us. Alok

  • Devo_U2 on August 4, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Regardless of the verdict, can we not abide by certain rules that apply to Offices all around the world? I work in a mostly male dominated environment and yes, we do not have opposition but work with other teams and sometimes there are instances where someone gets upset to a point to show frustration. There are boundaries though and no one goes out cursing and if that happens, someone in authority steps in and takes appropriate action. Umpires are the authority and should use their power to ensure that the language is civilized for the most part and the tone of delivery does not deviate to far from the norms. Some might point out that Cricket is different and i agree on that point to a certain extent. There has to be amicable environment for competitive cricket and not some barbaric language. Show your frustrations but don't cross the line and if you do, there are consequences. Apparently the consequences are missing and that's why we have those incidents!

  • eggyroe on August 4, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    It appears the the responses shown in this column are anti sledging and any body who is pro sledging is being censored and not printed,therefore this is not an even handed debate about something that India perceives to be a problem that nobody else in the cricket family worries about.

  • RaviNarla on August 4, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    One question to Jimmy though. Would you be proud of using that language in your kids presence. I hope not. Garner, Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh, Kapil, Hadlee. They were all fast bowlers too and they did not swear. Maybe there was a stare off. They let the ball do the talking. Come on cricketers, You are all Pro's, Ground is your workplace and conduct yourself. You are role models to the upcoming generation.

  • on August 5, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    So now, we know that (1) Umpire Bruce Oxenford heard Anderson using unacceptable language on the field of play. (2) He chose not to report it. (3) The ICC Commissioner is aware of the offence. (4) Chose to take no action against it. This tolerance of confirmed usage of abusive language is not consistent with ICC match referee's behaviour at Sydney 2008, where the match referee had tried to use his authority to suspend Harbhajan Singh without evidence ! Over to you Mr. Dave Richardson, as the author says.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on August 5, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    It is very unfortunate that cricket at Test level has become so personally competitive, but the questions should be directed at the Waugh era Australians - so successful but masters of unpleasantness on the field. Others were bound to emulate them in order to approach their degree of domination, especially since the umpires obviously did not feel it was as offensive as most of your correspondents (and I) do.

    Jimmy Anderson initially had a reputation for being a shy and modest individual - I suspect that he has merely adopted the Oz approach since it clearly proved very successful. Others, who felt he "got away" with his charge might reflect that the judgment did make clear that "the other side" exaggerated their case.

  • thewhiteflame on August 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Raki99 you have all wrong... Both players should have been fined 100 percent of their match fees for bringing the game into disrepute. What we have seen s the difference of opinion between an ex cicketer and lawman.

  • sray23 on August 5, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    I think it's not practical to regulate on-field behaviours by off-field procedures like inquests, commissions and hearings. They take at least 1-2 weeks to conduct, require all sorts of lawyering and evidence-gathering and in the end if it's not a firm verdict (like this case), then all parties involved end up feeling their time is wasted. On field problems like sledging should be solved by on-field method. The most obvious method? GIVE THE UMPIRES MORE POWER & DISCRETION. And this should include the power to suspend players for personal abuse. If the umpires themselves are the judges and players know their behaviour is being watched closely, rest assured they will control their lips a bit more. In the short term, this shift may lead to some umpires misinterpreting the code of conduct rules (or interpreting them too strongly), but in the long term they should go a long way in controlling senseless behaviour.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on August 4, 2014, 21:30 GMT

    Anderson couldn't be punished due to lack of reliable evidence but Dhoni and Fletcher have still done the game a service, intentionally or not, by exposing the level of abuse that now seem commonplace in the game. I'm honestly quite shocked by it. Maybe I'm naive. But this if this is now considered acceptable then I'll find another sport for my kids to play.

  • Raki99 on August 4, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    David Boon as become the laughing stock in this All ordeal.. He punished jadeja and now has to eat the humble pie..

  • on August 4, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    James Anderson got away scot free just because of some technical lacunae. This in nonsense. Aggressive my foot! We are not boxing or wrestling. There is a whole lot of difference between being aggressive and competitive. Be competitive not Aggressive. Shame on ICC for making the game so complicated. Why cant the abusive language be banned completely. If you abuse, treat like a noball, free hit. Or some punishment right there and then. This needs to change. I have two young daughters and watching a match where such words are used under the garb of aggressive play is unpalatable and tasteless. Appreciate the efforts of agencies like Cricinfo in bringing attention to such a serious issue for cricket lovers like us. Alok

  • Devo_U2 on August 4, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    Regardless of the verdict, can we not abide by certain rules that apply to Offices all around the world? I work in a mostly male dominated environment and yes, we do not have opposition but work with other teams and sometimes there are instances where someone gets upset to a point to show frustration. There are boundaries though and no one goes out cursing and if that happens, someone in authority steps in and takes appropriate action. Umpires are the authority and should use their power to ensure that the language is civilized for the most part and the tone of delivery does not deviate to far from the norms. Some might point out that Cricket is different and i agree on that point to a certain extent. There has to be amicable environment for competitive cricket and not some barbaric language. Show your frustrations but don't cross the line and if you do, there are consequences. Apparently the consequences are missing and that's why we have those incidents!

  • eggyroe on August 4, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    It appears the the responses shown in this column are anti sledging and any body who is pro sledging is being censored and not printed,therefore this is not an even handed debate about something that India perceives to be a problem that nobody else in the cricket family worries about.

  • RaviNarla on August 4, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    One question to Jimmy though. Would you be proud of using that language in your kids presence. I hope not. Garner, Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh, Kapil, Hadlee. They were all fast bowlers too and they did not swear. Maybe there was a stare off. They let the ball do the talking. Come on cricketers, You are all Pro's, Ground is your workplace and conduct yourself. You are role models to the upcoming generation.

  • screamingeagle on August 4, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    @ianbellfan, so you consider Anderson's comment to Dhoni as funy banter. I do not think Indians are angels, but the point is, cricket is getting dirtier in more ways than one. And a spineless ICC is not helping matters. All teams are the same, they will push it till someone says stop. That, I guess, is the point of the article, not whether Anderson should be hauled up.

  • Alexk400 on August 4, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Cursing is childish. This should not be part of the game. I think jovial banter is ok but cursing against each other to gain mental advantage and degradation should not be part of game. Even i think anderson should have to banned for 3 test matches , i want him play against india. So we do not lose best players because ICC code of conduct messed up. Umpires should step in if this is what happening in the field. if people using extreme cursing , they should be warned and fined.

  • ianbellfan on August 4, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding: Agree with you to the extent that it is not feasible to implement my suggestion in certain match situations. But the larger point is, the umpire should have the authority to take on-field action instead of "requesting" players to keep it under control and when that fails report to the Match Referee. On-field action by the umpires will bring transparency to the process and also shame the player involved then and there. When the players know that all that an umpire can do is ask them to keep it clean, they will have little or no regard for the umpire. Lastly and most importantly, decency on the playing field should be taught right from the age group levels. In the recent U 19 World Cup, there were many instances in which player behaviour was questionable.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 4, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    @Sir_Francis, I'm not quite old enough but from everything I've read this isn't new, in the past it was limited to the crowds, like those that gathered on the hill at Sydney (circa 1920-1939), after the war it started to get more abusive, Lillie, Thompson, Botham, willis, Marsh and many others weren't shy of mentioning more than a few expletives to the opposition batsmen in the 1970's and 80's

    as you state Mitch Johnson, Steyn, Morkle, and others all like to have ago so Anderson, so he isn't alone. The ICC umpires need to step in and tell the players to cool it, the problem is you can sanction a Bowler by prenting him bowling again like you can if he runs on the pitch after a couple of warnings, but how do you sanction a batsman who goads a bowler with a known short fuse?

  • Sir_Francis on August 4, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    It's too late. In the past, players sometimes acted like adults. That is gone. They've been allowed to get away with childish behaviour (and hardly a man amongst them) for too long. This sort of thing will contine and get worse. Soon players will strike each other. And we will tut-tut. But nothing will happen. Also, as an australian I can assure sledging is NEVER witty. it is abusive and, humourless and childish. Much like what the stump cam picks up from Anderson (though he has a long way to go to emulate the Master, Hayden). Cricket is turning into a game for thugs and hooligans. I'm old enough to recall when that sort of behaviour was very rare and frowned upon. Now. all that happens is people write about it.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 4, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    @ianbellfan, its a good idea, but what happens if it is a batsman that is handing out the abuse, because its not only bowlers that do it, what if that batsman in the last wicket stand? does the game halt for 30 minutes while the batsman gets sin binned, or do they serve the sentence at the start of the next innings.

    Would it be acceptable for a batsman to goad a fast bowler into responding thus ensuring he got sent off? Don't forget there are some people out there who can wind others up and remain just the right side of the 'rules'.

  • on August 4, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    Though legally correct, exonerating both will have serious negative consequences in player behaviour. The message which comes out is clear: If there are no microphones to capture the audio and cameras to capture the video evidences, anything goes! :-( What a shame!

  • nareshgb1 on August 4, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Wonder if Jimmy's young kid understands this - probably not. But she will some day. I say Good on ya Jimmy. You Da real macho man there and your kid will know.

  • on August 4, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    What the Judicial Commissioner did IS the due process of law (until proved beyond doubt, an accused is NOT guilty). Understandable; he being a judge. But what the Match Referee did was administrative gimmickry to eliminate an appeal :-)

  • ChrisMarx on August 4, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    If players wish to call themselves professionals, they should conduct themselves professionally.Turn on the stump microphone and broadcast that feed to an age restricted simulcast channel so that those who wish to listen to players insulting each other can do so and those who do not can still listen to the normal broadcast. I think a lot of these players will think twice about behaving like they do when the world can hear them and they know that history will record their behaviour as much as their performances.

  • ianbellfan on August 4, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    I am sorry, Sid, I don't agree with your stand in this issue. Anybody who has read cricket literature will see that passing remarks and comments has been a part of the game since the days of W.G.Grace. Funny banter and riposte has been part and parcel of the game. Sanga does it and so do others. The problem is when the limits of civility and decency are crossed. We do not want players to play like zen monks. When the umpire perceives that an exchange is about the pass or has passed the limits of decency, he has to step in. Umpires should have the power to take punitive action such as banning a player off the field for half an hour and in serious breaches for a session or longer. Losing a player for any length of time will hurt any team. That will be the way forward instead of asking the players to behave like boy scouts.

  • Clyde on August 4, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    It is a revelation that players have behaved in such a disgusting manner and far from letting the matter rest it should be treated in the same way as corruption has been treated, with as many exposés and special reports as possible. It appears that we have not, after all, been watching an enjoyable game and have been treated with disrespect by people who instead of playing cricket have been carrying on feuds. Monga is dead right about the responsibility of the ICC. It must be asked why umpires don't order players who behave in a vile manner from the field. Isn't this carrying on in front of the umpires in effect an obscene gesture at the ICC? Not all the present players have the maturity and stature of the greats that tend to stick in the memory, mind you. But instead of regulating their every expression, I would leave them unselected. Cricket will not last long if the players are unsavoury characters (a number of which could be produced by present cricket culture itself, by the way).

  • landl47 on August 4, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    'This is like a court saying if the police didn't register a legitimate complaint, it won't take any action either.'

    But that's exactly what does happen in a court situation. If the police, or a plaintiff, does not put forward a legitimate case the court doesn't go on with the hearing. The court doesn't suddenly take on the role of prosecutor.

    I am all in favour of tightening up the rules or enforcing the existing rules more stringently. Cricket is a contest between batsmen, bowlers and fielders, not a competition to see who has the foulest mouth. However, rules can't just be made up as you go along. If the umpire thought the behaviour of the players didn't warrant reporting. then that incident is closed. If the ICC thinks the umpire's interpretation was wrong, then it should be dealt with in the instructions or guidlelines given to umpires.

    The ICC can't retroactively change what happened any more than it can declare after the match that Bell was out for 0. That's the umpire's job.

  • Sexysteven on August 4, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    This whole issue needs to be sorted out we can't hear what goes on out there but we know verbal abuse is happening all the time and nothing is being done to stop it I would have ayellow card that's your warning so many of them over a season you get suspended for amatch then red card if you keep it going that means your off for the rest of the innings with no sub allowed therefore you automatically missed the next two games now that would work if the players knew they could miss games and being off the field they wouldn't want to let there team down and if they got sent off that's exactly what they would be doing letting there team down

  • on August 4, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    @SpaMaster. I like your idea but would not support it since I do like watching cricket with my 4 year old. Those who are hearing the garbage, the on field umpire, should be advised/encouraged to report the stink.

  • on August 4, 2014, 0:29 GMT

    I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed in this piece.

    (a) You can't retroactively rule that behaviour that has long been considered to fall within acceptable standards is now punishable. If you want to eradicate this behaviour from the game, fine, but you cannot do so by ambushing players who may be behaving abysmally but within established guidelines. Are those guidelines too lax? Yes. Absolutely. So tighten them with overt changes to the regulations governing player conduct. And then move forward with everyone having been fully informed.

    (b) Without being able to assign guilt you cannot assign punishment. The author might like to consider if he should lose $US 130,000 because someone picked a fight with him. And if the answer is 'no' then he should accept that no punishment should be handed out in this instance.

    Should this motivate the ICC to more strictly govern player behaviour? Yes. But don't change the rules retroactively. That is inherently unjust.

  • on August 3, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    excellent article..I was shocked how the english press reacted to this verdict..pathetic

  • baskar_guha on August 3, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Well said, Sid. ICC however will likely be unmoved. Sad

  • SpaMaster on August 3, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    I say 'let's switch on the stump mikes'. Let the whole world hear what these so called cricket stars say in a play ground.

  • IndianSRTfan on August 3, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Hats off Sid Monga. It is assuring to know that there are still people associated with Cricket, albeit very few, who seem to grasp the root issue without getting blinded by jingoistic sentiments.

    This whole saga has been pathetically handled by the ICC and the on field umpires. The remark about livelihood is ridiculous and is irrelevant. Missing a match or two wouldn't have made any dent in any player's livelihood at all. The actions of on field umpires, considering the level of abuse that is reported in verdict, are nothing but impotent wagging of a finger.

    I have said this before that as much as ICC, every country's cricket board, media, most of ex-players/experts, fans are responsible with their attitude of 'ours is the light banter, yours is the unacceptable abuse'. That's the reason for the 'India is humiliated,

  • GedLadd on August 3, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    For sure the ICC should look into the Code of Conduct and issue clearer guidelines on what is and is not acceptable on-field behaviour.

    But the notion that Dave Richardson should appeal the Anderson/Jadeja case and keep this particular incident at the forefront of the public domain is misguided almost to the point of being foolish.

    The harm arising to cricket from the behaviour and the case arises because cricket is brought into disrepute as a result. The way to rectify the problem is to improve the ICC's procedures and guidelines going forward, not by returning incessantly to the disreputable behaviour around the Trent Bridge incident.

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  • GedLadd on August 3, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    For sure the ICC should look into the Code of Conduct and issue clearer guidelines on what is and is not acceptable on-field behaviour.

    But the notion that Dave Richardson should appeal the Anderson/Jadeja case and keep this particular incident at the forefront of the public domain is misguided almost to the point of being foolish.

    The harm arising to cricket from the behaviour and the case arises because cricket is brought into disrepute as a result. The way to rectify the problem is to improve the ICC's procedures and guidelines going forward, not by returning incessantly to the disreputable behaviour around the Trent Bridge incident.

  • IndianSRTfan on August 3, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Hats off Sid Monga. It is assuring to know that there are still people associated with Cricket, albeit very few, who seem to grasp the root issue without getting blinded by jingoistic sentiments.

    This whole saga has been pathetically handled by the ICC and the on field umpires. The remark about livelihood is ridiculous and is irrelevant. Missing a match or two wouldn't have made any dent in any player's livelihood at all. The actions of on field umpires, considering the level of abuse that is reported in verdict, are nothing but impotent wagging of a finger.

    I have said this before that as much as ICC, every country's cricket board, media, most of ex-players/experts, fans are responsible with their attitude of 'ours is the light banter, yours is the unacceptable abuse'. That's the reason for the 'India is humiliated,

  • SpaMaster on August 3, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    I say 'let's switch on the stump mikes'. Let the whole world hear what these so called cricket stars say in a play ground.

  • baskar_guha on August 3, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Well said, Sid. ICC however will likely be unmoved. Sad

  • on August 3, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    excellent article..I was shocked how the english press reacted to this verdict..pathetic

  • on August 4, 2014, 0:29 GMT

    I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed in this piece.

    (a) You can't retroactively rule that behaviour that has long been considered to fall within acceptable standards is now punishable. If you want to eradicate this behaviour from the game, fine, but you cannot do so by ambushing players who may be behaving abysmally but within established guidelines. Are those guidelines too lax? Yes. Absolutely. So tighten them with overt changes to the regulations governing player conduct. And then move forward with everyone having been fully informed.

    (b) Without being able to assign guilt you cannot assign punishment. The author might like to consider if he should lose $US 130,000 because someone picked a fight with him. And if the answer is 'no' then he should accept that no punishment should be handed out in this instance.

    Should this motivate the ICC to more strictly govern player behaviour? Yes. But don't change the rules retroactively. That is inherently unjust.

  • on August 4, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    @SpaMaster. I like your idea but would not support it since I do like watching cricket with my 4 year old. Those who are hearing the garbage, the on field umpire, should be advised/encouraged to report the stink.

  • Sexysteven on August 4, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    This whole issue needs to be sorted out we can't hear what goes on out there but we know verbal abuse is happening all the time and nothing is being done to stop it I would have ayellow card that's your warning so many of them over a season you get suspended for amatch then red card if you keep it going that means your off for the rest of the innings with no sub allowed therefore you automatically missed the next two games now that would work if the players knew they could miss games and being off the field they wouldn't want to let there team down and if they got sent off that's exactly what they would be doing letting there team down

  • landl47 on August 4, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    'This is like a court saying if the police didn't register a legitimate complaint, it won't take any action either.'

    But that's exactly what does happen in a court situation. If the police, or a plaintiff, does not put forward a legitimate case the court doesn't go on with the hearing. The court doesn't suddenly take on the role of prosecutor.

    I am all in favour of tightening up the rules or enforcing the existing rules more stringently. Cricket is a contest between batsmen, bowlers and fielders, not a competition to see who has the foulest mouth. However, rules can't just be made up as you go along. If the umpire thought the behaviour of the players didn't warrant reporting. then that incident is closed. If the ICC thinks the umpire's interpretation was wrong, then it should be dealt with in the instructions or guidlelines given to umpires.

    The ICC can't retroactively change what happened any more than it can declare after the match that Bell was out for 0. That's the umpire's job.

  • Clyde on August 4, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    It is a revelation that players have behaved in such a disgusting manner and far from letting the matter rest it should be treated in the same way as corruption has been treated, with as many exposés and special reports as possible. It appears that we have not, after all, been watching an enjoyable game and have been treated with disrespect by people who instead of playing cricket have been carrying on feuds. Monga is dead right about the responsibility of the ICC. It must be asked why umpires don't order players who behave in a vile manner from the field. Isn't this carrying on in front of the umpires in effect an obscene gesture at the ICC? Not all the present players have the maturity and stature of the greats that tend to stick in the memory, mind you. But instead of regulating their every expression, I would leave them unselected. Cricket will not last long if the players are unsavoury characters (a number of which could be produced by present cricket culture itself, by the way).