England vs India fourth Test: Row between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja lingers over thrilling Test series
The fourth Test, which begins on Thursday, threaten to be overshadowed by the ongoing feud between the two sides after both men were cleared by the ICC
Monday 04 August 2014
The row over James Anderson's altercation with Ravindra Jadeja may have resulted in both parties being cleared but it will continue to cast a shadow over this week's fourth Investec Test.
Leaked excerpts from the disciplinary commissioner's verdict and the possibility of an appeal mean the issue refuses to go away.
On Friday retired Australian judge Gordon Lewis, an independent appointee of the International Cricket Council, heard representations from both sides during a lengthy teleconference conducted after England's series-levelling win at the Ageas Bowl.
Lewis decided there was insufficient evidence to uphold Indian's claim that Anderson pushed Jadeja in the Trent Bridge pavilion during the first Test and was guilty of breaching Level 3 of the ICC code.
Had he concluded otherwise, the pace bowler was facing a ban of up to four Tests.
For his part in the affair, Jadeja saw previously levied fine overturned by Lewis on appeal.
Both national boards would have been hoping for that to be the end of the matter, with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India having initially hoped to settle the matter behind the scenes.
But such is the interest in the growing enmity between the teams - focusing around the blunt figure of Anderson - that seems unlikely to happen.
Indeed, the matter cannot be considered closed until Friday - day two of the fourth Test.
That is when the deadline for an official ICC appeal against Lewis' findings, which would have to be laid by chief executive Dave Richardson, expires.
Richardson would appear to have little vested interest in prolonging the unedifying incident and the grievances harboured by India's touring squad would have to be shared by their powerful board members for them to consider prompting him to do so.
Nevertheless, numerous outlets have carried alleged leaked extracts of the ruling, which add some noteworthy colour - and colourful language - to relations between the sides.
One extensive passage, as carried by Indian broadcaster NDTV and understood by Press Association Sport to be accurate, outlines Indian claims that Anderson abused and pushed Jadeja in the back, threatened to knock out his teeth and called touring captain MS Dhoni "a f***ing fat c***" - the latter insult having been noted by umpire Bruce Oxenford.
England argued Anderson had not pushed Jadeja and instead reacted defensively to Jadeja turning and confronting him at the bottom of the stairwell.
The NDTV extract also quotes Lewis as concluding: "Obviously one version of the facts must be untrue, but the existing CCTV image is unhelpful and the witnesses hopelessly biased in favour of one party or the other.
"In short, I do not know on the evidence, and to the relevant standard of proof, what happened in the corridor leading to the stairway in those few seconds after the batsmen and fielding side came in for lunch. I cannot be comfortably satisfied as to the truth of either version of the evidence."
Lewis finished by highlighting perceived deficiencies in the ICC disciplinary code and calling for attention.
He wrote: "As a newly appointed Judicial Commissioner, I urge the ICC to conduct an immediate review of its Code of Conduct, as these proceedings have highlighted a number of inadequacies in the Code and situations with which it cannot easily cope. That concludes the reasons for my decisions."
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