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Apex body bats in self-defence

- ICC urges captains to respect its judicial process

Calcutta: Comments and counter comments from the Indian and the England camps regarding the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat at Trent Bridge were already making news.

On Sunday, it was the International Cricket Council’s turn to speak out on the matter.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said that he was “hurt” by the ICC’s decision to fine Jadeja for the incident. “To me, it’s a very hurtful decision. Frankly, I feel a lot of things were neglected in judging the case,” Dhoni had said.

In reaction to that, the game’s governing body issued a media statement on Sunday urging all relevant parties to respect the judicial process in relation to the alleged incident.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) today urged all relevant parties to respect the judicial process in relation to the alleged incident that took place during the first Test at Trent Bridge which has resulted in charges being brought against England’s James Anderson and India’s Ravindra Jadeja,” the ICC statement said.

The statement quoted ICC chief executive David Richardson as saying: “England captain Alastair Cook and, more recently, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have made public comments relating to the alleged incident that took place during the first Test at Trent Bridge, the latter of which is critical of and undermines the ICC disciplinary process.”

Richardson also stressed on ICC’s support for Match Referee David Boon, who took the decision to fine Jadeja.

“The ICC would also like to reiterate its full support of the process followed and respect for the decision made by David Boon. ICC Code of Conduct hearings of this nature are, generally speaking, difficult processes to work through, with detailed legal submissions, witness statements and oral witness testimony.

“We are satisfied that Mr Boon carefully and comprehensively considered the evidence and submissions presented to him at the hearing, which included conflicting evidence from both sides, prior to making his decision.

“In legal matters such as this, the ICC takes extremely seriously its duty as administrators of the game.

“Therefore, I request all stakeholders to respect the process which remains ongoing and remind them of their duties to the integrity of the process and the sport so that we can focus on the game of cricket itself.”

The hearing of Anderson will be held on Friday in Southampton.

Meanwhile, in a fresh twist to the case, a cricket-specific website reported that two England players have testified that Jadeja had turned towards the English bowler with a raised bat during the showdown.

According to the report, Ben Stokes and Matt Prior, during the hearing against Jadeja, testified that the Indian raised his bat at Anderson during the altercation.

“...At the hearing, England witnesses Ben Stokes and Matt Prior suggested to Match Referee David Boon that Jadeja had turned threateningly towards James Anderson, and the England fast bowler had acted in self defence,” the report said.

“Prior contended Jadeja’s bat was raised dangerously when he turned towards Anderson, and Stokes suggested Jadeja had pushed Anderson first,” the report added.

Dhoni, on Saturday, had said: “The bat was under his (Jadeja’s) arm throughout… Right from the call for lunch till the time he entered the dressing room, not one word was spoken by him (Jadeja). I feel there were a lot of things that were neglected… I don’t think there was even a bit of aggression in that and that’s the reason I’m very hurt by the verdict given.”