England vs India fourth Test: Alastair Cook defies India’s outrage and tells Jimmy Anderson to keep on swearing
The fourth Test begins at Old Trafford on Thursday
England were given licence today 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 tomorrow, 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 f*** are you smiling at? I’ll knock your f****** 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 f****** fat c***.”
Lewis’s report said that Matt Prior, then the England wicketkeeper, had told the hearing that the words “f***” and “f******” 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.”
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food