England v India fourth Test: Alastair Cook defies India’s outrage and tells Jimmy Anderson to keep on swearing

Captain says he has not come across any player whose private and professional characters are so markedly different than the fast bowlers'

old trafford

England have been given licence to carry on swearing. As the International Cricket Council published details of the full and sometimes extremely frank exchanges which led to the disciplinary hearing for Jimmy Anderson last Friday, England’s captain, Alastair Cook, made it clear he was perfectly content with the way his side behave in the wake of that abusive lunchtime tirade at Trent Bridge.

With the fourth Test in the Investec series starting on Thursday, Cook said: “We know every time you pull on the shirt as an England player, or any international side, you are role models for anyone watching, we’re all aware of that.

“We also want to play competitive cricket, we don’t want to be too nicey-nicey, with everyone saying they’re playing in the right spirit. There’s always that muddied line. We want to play competitive cricket like these three games have been played and I don’t think we need to change too much.”

His liberal views appeared to put England at odds with the ICC, which issued a strong warning about offensive language and the need for umpires to uphold acceptable standards.

Cook also specifically supported the way in which Anderson plays the game, despite growing concerns that the fast bowler’s language and scowling behaviour are excessive. In world cricket generally England are unpopular, which is some achievement considering Australia’s abrasive approach.

 

The case against Anderson and the India spinner Ravindra Jadeja was finally dropped when the ICC chief executive, Dave Richardson, decided the governing body would not lodge an appeal against the verdict of Gordon Lewis, the judicial commissioner. Lewis found both players not guilty because of the lack of plausible evidence about their encounter on the second day of the first Test in Nottingham.

But in declaring that the disciplinary hearings had been exhaustive, Richardson said: “International cricket is tough, competitive and uncompromising, but we must reiterate that there is no place in the game for the use of offensive language that is personally insulting of one player by another.”

He added: “It is imperative that all captains, players and coaches as well as umpires and referees are reminded of and do not shirk their responsibility to one another and to the game.”

Judge Lewis’s official report after the six-hour hearing last Friday revealed some of the exchanges which took place at Trent Bridge.

Anderson said to Jadeja as they left the field at lunch on the second day: “What the fuck are you smiling at? I’ll knock your fucking teeth out in the dressing room”. According to the testimony of the umpire, Bruce Oxenford, Anderson had directed comments on the field to the India captain, M S Dhoni, saying: “You’re a fucking fat cunt.”

The India captain, M S Dhoni, shows off his football skills at Old Trafford The India captain, M S Dhoni, shows off his football skills at Old Trafford (Getty)
Lewis’s report said that Matt Prior, then the England wicketkeeper, had told the hearing that the words “f***” and “f***ing” were commonplace on the international cricket field. Anderson is an enthusiastic user and Cook has no intention of telling him to curb his behaviour.

“Of course, there’s little bits where he might have overstepped the mark throughout his career but you’d rather be on that line than too passive,” he said. “He needs that for his bowling and the way he bowled, especially at Southampton, was incredible.”

Cook said he had not come across any player whose private and professional characters were so markedly different. Reserved and quiet off the field, Anderson changes once he crosses the white line.

“Jimmy’s an experienced cricketer and he’s found his way of doing it,” said Cook. “He’s a very different personality when he crosses the line and I don’t think anyone should moan about it because what happens on the field should stay on the field, and off the field you should be a nice guy. Of course, you understand the parameters you have to play within.”

Dhoni, for whom the Anderson issue had become a personal crusade, appeared to accept that the time had come to move on. Although he seemed to bear no grudges Dhoni was adamant that standards needed to be upheld.

“Strong characters are needed in the game,” he said. “What needs to be done is for umpires to step in when the individual crosses the line.”

Dhoni paid handsome tribute to Anderson’s bowling skills and hinted that he had curbed his more extreme outbursts since Trent Bridge. “There’s a vast difference between the way he played the first Test compared to the last couple of matches. He only needs to be controlled if something wrong is happening. You don’t want everyone to be one kind of thing, because individuals bring character to the side.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee