Gordon Lewis, the ICC-appointed Judicial commissioner who heard the misconduct charges against James Anderson, said the England pacer was deemed not guilty as there wasn’t enough evidence to impose sanctions, which were severe in nature.
Gordon said he found the witnesses to be extremely biased in favour of their own team, and the only neutral witness – a Trent Bridge steward – said he didn’t see much.
Moreover, there was neither an audio evidence to establish the abusive sledging nor a video footage of the pushing incident in the corridor between the ground and the dressing rooms.
Gordon said due to lack of evidence he had to rely on his thought process to arrive at the decision. “I considered the different standards of proof pertaining to charges at different levels under the Code, and with a level 3 charge the penalty could be four to eight suspension points or 2 to 4 Test matches.
“In monetary terms the loss of between $A40,000 and $A80,000 approx. In my view with potential penalties that severe, for me to be “comfortably satisfied” pursuant to Article 6.1, something close to beyond reasonable doubt was required,” Gordon was a quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“I then turned my mind to downgrading the charge to level 2 pursuant to Article 7.6.5. I considered whether I could be comfortably satisfied that an offence at that level had been committed when the sanction for a first offence potentially equated to between $A10,000 and $A30,000 (the fees payable as half of Anderson’s fee in the second test and his payment for a further full test match).
“When a Tribunal is dealing with someone’s livelihood, sanctions of that magnitude in my view, certainly require a standard of proof that is more than on the balance of probabilities and again I was not satisfied that an onus requiring a standard of proof at that higher level, had been discharged,” he explained.
Anderson was facing a charge under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players, following allegations that he pushed and abused Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of the first Test at Nottingham.
“As I reflected on the evidence and the final submissions made by the representatives of the parties, I turned my mind to a possible
downgrading of the charge to level 1. At this point, Mr. Adam Lewis’ (Jadeja’s counsel) final submission became relevant. He was helpfully guessing at what might have happened and inadvertently inviting me to do the same.
“And whatever a Tribunal should or should not do, is to guess to achieve an outcome. 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,” Gordon stated.
India’s position was that without provocation, Anderson pushed Jadeja in the back causing him to turn around.
Jadeja had allegedly stated that “Anderson continued to abuse him in the corridor and had ultimately pushed him in the back.
Jadeja denied any aggression on his part.
While, according to Anderson’s version, it was Jadeja who was the aggressor and without provocation. In the corridor, as they approached the steps that led upstairs, the English pacer said that the Indian all-rounder suddenly turned around and aggressively came towards him and “got right up in my face”.
Anderson said he instinctively put up his hands as Jadeja still had a cricket bat in his hand. He said that he put up his hands in a defensive manner because of the way in which Jadeja came at him.
Anderson claimed that he was completely taken aback by Jadeja’s ‘aggressive action’.