England vs India: ECB hit back after Indians accuse Jimmy Anderson of abusing Ravindra Jadeja

ICC set to arrange a hearing but fast bowler free to play in second Test

England have been left stunned after their leading bowler, Jimmy Anderson, was accused of a serious breach of the ICC code of conduct. They pledged their full backing for the player, who could be banned for up to four Test matches if he is found guilty.

Anderson has been reported to the ICC by India’s management who claim that he abused and pushed their spin bowler Ravindra Jadeja after the teams left the field for lunch during the first Test at Trent Bridge last Thursday.

From the tone of England’s response, it is clear that they had forgotten all about it. But they stated their intention of lodging similar charges against Jadeja.

India’s decision to report Anderson after a Test match which ended in a dull draw is certain to fuel disharmony in the second Test which starts at Lord’s on Thursday.

India’s manager, Sunil Dev, was reported as saying that he had proceeded with the complaint after talking to captain MS Dhoni and manager Duncan Fletcher. Dev was quoted as saying: “Mahi [Dhoni] and everyone complained that he [Anderson] physically touched him [Jadeja] and pushed him. It was all over the dressing room. It is serious matter only because you can’t push anybody. So I put in a complaint with the match referee.” India claim that it continued an altercation between the pair as they left the pitch. Jadeja had been batting at the time.

The rest of the Investec series seems certain to be acrimonious. Following India’s report, Anderson faces charges under Level 3 of the code, the second most serious breach. A terse statement from his employers said: “The ECB has today reacted with surprise that the India team has made allegations against James Anderson under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for a minor incident involving Ravindra Jadeja during the first Investec Test match at Trent Bridge.

“In the light of this the ECB has notified the ICC of its intention to lodge code of conduct breaches against Jadeja. James Anderson categorically denies the accusations made against him and the ECB have pledged their total support for the player should he be charged by ICC.”

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Jimmy Anderson has words with India’s Ravindra Jadeja on the second day at Trent Bridge (Rex)

Nothing was known of the alleged incident until the formal complaint was laid. India mentioned nothing about it in the post-match briefing and England are affecting to be mystified.Anderson was man of the match at Trent Bridge for his career-best innings of 81 in a world Test record 10th-wicket partnership of 198. He is notoriously grumpy, like many fast bowlers, and has never been afraid to let his feelings be known to opponents. But such a charge as he now faces is utterly unprecedented.

During the first Test of last winter’s Ashes, Anderson managed to rattle Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke. While batting, Anderson appeared to have words with George Bailey, who was fielding at short-leg, which prompted Clarke to intervene. He was picked up on the stump microphone saying: “Get ready for a fucking broken arm” and subsequently fined 20 per cent of his match fee. Anderson was not charged with any offence.

The ICC will now convene a preliminary hearing as quickly as possible, though it will be difficult to arrange it before the match starts on Thursday. First, it has to appoint a judicial commissioner, who will effectively decide if there is a case to answer.

By instigating reciprocal charges only as an afterthought, England have made it pretty clear they think the whole affair is trivial. India will presumably provide details of what Anderson said and did.

Level 3 breaches are almost unheard of. They include the threat of assault on another player but Anderson has been reported under a more nebulous catch-all section, article 2.3.3.

This states: “Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that either: (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute.” The punishment could be a ban of one to four Tests.

India must think they have a strong case, though there was no question of Anderson missing the match.

Any notion of resting him because he has just bowled 59 overs would be interpreted as standing him down to avoid any further unpleasantness. Both sides will do well to keep their tempers at Lord’s.

ECB statement

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reacted with surprise that the India team has made allegations against James Anderson under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for a minor incident involving Ravindra Jadeja during the first Investec Test match at Trent Bridge. In the light of this the ECB has notified the ICC of its intention to lodge code of conduct breaches against Jadeja.

James Anderson categorically denies the accusations made against him and the ECB have pledged their total support for the player should he be charged by ICC. Under ICC Code of Conduct regulations the ECB cannot make any further comment and enquiries should be directed to the ICC in Dubai.

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