South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day January 15, 2016

Anderson's frustations boil over


The England camp have admitted that James Anderson had been warned twice for running on the pitch before he was removed from the attack for a third transgression in the third Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Anderson, England's record wicket taker in Test cricket, appeared incensed when Aleem Dar, the umpire, notified the England captain that Anderson was to be withdrawn from the attack after two balls of the 100th over of the innings.

In an angry exchange that continued beyond the end of innings, Anderson appeared to insist that he had been warned only once previously.

But an ECB spokesman later confirmed that Alastair Cook, the England captain, admitted he had been warned twice previously about Anderson running on to the protected area. The first warning came after three deliveries of the 61st over of the innings; the second after four deliveries of the 94th over. All the warnings were captured by broadcasters.

Law 42.12 - a section headlined 'bowler running on protected area after delivering the ball - states that, on the first instance of any infringement, the umpire shall "caution the bowler and inform the other umpire." They should also "inform the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen."

If the bowler contravenes again, the umpire is obliged to "repeat the procedure indicating that it is a final warning."

Aleem Dar, who his officiating in his 101st Test as an on-field umpire, won the ICC's umpire of the year award for three years in a row (between 2009 and 2011).

While the England camp have suggested that the umpires could, perhaps, make their warnings a little more obvious, they have effectively accepted the sanction. Coming, as it did, with nine wickets down, and with Ben Stokes requiring only one delivery to finish off the innings, it did not adversely affect them. Anderson, whose querying of the decision probably stayed just the right side of the line separated between 'inquisitive' and 'argumentative' is unlikely to face further punishment.

There may be concern, however, at Anderson's habit of running on the pitch - a habit that appears to be of increasing interest to umpires - and his apparent fury with the world and almost all upon it once he takes to the pitch. It is understood a team-mate recently made it clear in the dressing room that some were tiring of the latter.

There has been illness within the England squad in recent days and it may well be that Anderson - and Stuart Broad, who bowled far below his recent high standards here - have suffered as much as anyone and deserve some patience. No doubt Anderson's anger stems from his burning desire to perform for the team that he has represented with pride for more than a decade. He has more than earned the benefit of any doubt.

As a new England side emerges, though - an England side keen to engage with its supporters and in the first flush of enthusiasm for international cricket and all it entails - Anderson's anger jars and appears oddly out of step.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on January 16, 2016, 22:43 GMT

    Until we know exactly what was said between Anderson and umpire Aleem Dar we're never going to know are we? I thought it was an inspired bowling change from umpire Dar and just what England needed to break an awkward 10 wkt stand. I also thought - as the innings closed - that Anderson and Dar spoke again and seemed to be both smiling as they left the field. Anyone making a mountain out of a molehill here?

  • ian on January 16, 2016, 19:28 GMT

    Jimmy has been a wonderful and willing servant of England's cricket for more than a decade, but (the 'but' was bound to appear!) there is little doubt that he is out-of-sorts and - if you put England's quicks in order of effectiveness in SA - he must come fourth in anyone's reckoning This forgetting of a formal warning is an indicator of an alarming lack of awareness. Footballers are very mindful of the first yellow card! He was better today (better in his bowling and in general attitude) but he didn't really make much of an impact on the game. No matter, the game and the series have been won. There remains the final Test and, although there is a perceptible deference shown by Cook to his record-breaking senior bowler, the Centurion fixture might well be the moment to ask Jimmy to make way for Woakes or Footitt. He is mature enough to accept that the end of his Test career is not far away. This might be the moment for him to show good grace and think of the team, as he always has.

  • Graham on January 16, 2016, 18:48 GMT

    'Anderson's Crustaceans boil over' ... well he should be paying a bit more attention to his cooking, then. You don't leave a lobster pot unattended, now do you?

  • Paul on January 16, 2016, 12:00 GMT

    Comments on here like it's cheating. It isn't. It's like a tennis player overstepping with the serve. They do it, they get found out and the penalty is an "in play" penalty. A point or foul in tennis - or in this case - removed from the attack after the appropriate warnings. There is no continuation after the game. No match referee issues. It's an in play infringement. Interesting to see Morkel doing it continuously as well. 4 balls some overs - with nary look from the umpires. Home advantage maybe?

  • andrews on January 16, 2016, 11:39 GMT

    Sunny 1307, that's only 152 more wickets. You don't have to say 'mark my words' like you're being really sage.

  • Paul on January 16, 2016, 11:31 GMT

    Truth is, just about all fast bowlers have transgressed onto the "danger area" to a greater or lesser extent at some point. Some umpires are more lenient than others and being certain of the transgression is difficult. Dar is pretty hot on it, although doesn't always spot no balls.

  • kieran on January 16, 2016, 10:05 GMT

    Surprising, and disappointing, it hasn't come sooner; counting from the Ashes, there have been at least 3 occasions where Anderson has received unofficial, then official, and then more unofficial warnings about running on the pitch. As Landl47 points out, his frustrations are as likely to stem from his increasing ineffectiveness as from Dar removing him from the attack. Having said that, it is completely inappropriate of Anderson to engage Dar in the manner he did, and inappropriate of the England camp to suggest that any fault lies with the umpires for not being clear in their warnings; the fault lies solely with Anderson for continuously encroaching on the middle of the pitch.

  • Tom on January 16, 2016, 10:00 GMT

    THOZAR ON JANUARY 15, 2016, 21:29 GMT He tried to bully Jadeja last year. ------------------------------- Not according to the ICC who ruled that Jadeja, who had previous form for abusing opponents, had 'embellished his evidence' Or, in plain English, 'lied'.

  • andrews on January 16, 2016, 9:49 GMT

    In answer to some queries, I believe Australia's Kane Richardson ( who returned to international cricket yesterday) was the last to be removed from the attack for running on the pitch, in anODI against Sri Lanka in January 2013. I can remember it happening to Mushtaq Ahmed in a match against Victoria on the 1995/6 Pakistan tour of Australia. He promptly led the team from the field. Some bowlers really do need to grow up.

  • andrews on January 16, 2016, 9:41 GMT

    Anderson has had more than enough benefit of the doubt. When he ran through Australia at Edgbaston, almost every ball was illegal. He should have been banned within an over. What, does he think he has above the law? His carry on is tiresome, and it is interesting to see it implied here that his teammates think so to.

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