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Boycott wants stern punishment

London: Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has recommended “stern punishment” for James Anderson if the England pacer is found guilty of abusing and pushing Ravindra Jadeja on the second day of the first Test, at Trent Bridge.

“If anybody’s found guilty, and if I had a say in it, I believe he should be punished and punished harshly… That will stop it. I think everybody (found guilty) deserves a stern punishment. I didn’t see any pushing and I could have easily missed it. If he’s found guilty of that, then there’s no excuse,” Boycott said.

Anderson could be banned for two to four Tests if charges against him are proved. The altercation took place during the lunch break of the second day’s play when the two players were walking back to the pavilion for lunch. It is not yet known what triggered the fracas.

Jadeja was unbeaten on 24, and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 81, while Anderson had bowled the last over before lunch. Anderson was charged under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct after India team manager Sunil Dev lodged the complaint.

“What is going on in cricket, verbals between players, and particularly bowlers trying to rile batsmen by flagging them off… I don’t like it,” Boycott was quoted as saying by a cricket-specific website.

He added: “I’ve never agreed with it, I don’t think there’s a place for it in cricket. The modern player, in a lot of countries, accepts it as a norm as if they are growing up with it and everybody does it and everybody should do it.

“They believe it is not hurting cricket. Well, I believe it is. Jimmy (Anderson) is known to be one that talks to players. Now what he actually says I don’t know, I’m not near enough to hear it and I certainly can’t lip-read. But he is known to do a lot of talking. I don’t agree with it.”

The Indian team had reportedly complained to the ICC, but formal charges were brought in only after ICC’s attempts to sort out the matter had come a cropper.

“I’ve been against some of the great fast bowlers in the world, the great West Indians… They didn’t have to flag you off and make crude remarks. They just tried to bowl you out, they tried to knock you out sometimes, but that’s part of the game.

“They never got involved — (Dennis) Lillee, (Jeff) Thomson. Thomson used to swear under his breath, but he never swore at the batsman, he just swore at himself when he got a thick edge and it went between slip and gully for four.

“Fred Trueman used to swear and make funny remarks and make you laugh.” (PTI)