BCCI has decided to engage with the ICC after the written verdict passed by judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis on Sunday said that James Anderson was indeed abusive to Indian players and that there was contact between him and Ravindra Jadeja during the Trent Bridge Test.
According to rules, only the ICC chief executive (Dave Richardson) can appeal against the judicial commissioner’s judgment. all that the Indian board can do is to express its disappointment and force the world body to intervene before Saturday, which is the last day to appeal according to the ICC.
According to a top BCCI official, “The findings clearly prove that Anderson had pushed Jadeja and was also abusive both on and off-the-field. We don’t agree with the reason given by the judicial commissioner to absolve Anderson. Our hands are tied, we want ICC to step in”.
Lewis, in his detailed written verdict, in possession of The Indian Express (see below), says: “I am satisfied that personal contact did occur between Anderson and Jadeja but the extent and force of that contact is unknown, despite Jadeja’s response in cross examination, that the push was hard and caused him to break stride. That evidence seemed to me to be a recent embellishment, as Jadeja had not previously said this nor had any other witness.”
It seems that the reason Anderson was found ‘not guilty’ of the Level 3 charge levied by India, or any other minor offence, was because the witness accounts of both sides were “hopelessly biased” and there he was ‘comfortably satisfied’ with the lack of visual evidence of the incident. Besides, the judicial commissioner wasn’t convinced by the arguments put forward by the Indian legal counsel, Adam Lewis.
“During that submission Mr (Adam) Lewis posited his ‘two push theory’ for which there was not an iota of supporting evidence. And that submission I suspect came from Mr Lewis’ frustration in trying to make sense out of two totally conflicting versions of the evidence. It was an effort to find an explanation for the inexplicable, based on the conflicting evidence the tribunal had heard.”
But what makes the BCCI confident is that there will be a re-think in this case and the fact that judicial commissioner Lewis, in his conclusion, says ICC’s code of conduct wasn’t adequate. “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,” the commissioner wrote. Earlier in the report, the Australia-based judicial commissioner touched upon the on-field interaction between the players.
“First, according to the witness (Matt) Prior (England’s wicketkeeper in the Test), the words ‘f**k’ and ‘f**king’ are common place on an international cricket field. Second, it is not in issue that earlier in the morning Umpire Oxenford took the action he describes in para. 6 of his statement where he said “I heard Anderson use foul and abusive language to Dhoni. In particular I heard Anderson say “you’re a f**king fat c**t” to Dhoni”.”