Calcutta: Former India captain Rahul Dravid is concerned about the message sent out by the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja altercation case. He felt abuse, evidence of which was in umpire Bruce Oxenford’s report, has no place in the sport and that some reprimand had to be meted out.
“The message we’ve given out at the moment, the game has given out, is that it’s okay to do this stuff (abuse), which I think is wrong. I think there needed to be some sort of action taken. Some punishments needed to be handed out.
“We all know from Bruce Oxenford’s report what Jimmy (Anderson) has said, the words that he’s used. That is on the report and no one is denying the fact that there was that kind of abuse and England is claiming that Jadeja turned and so we must bring that into the equation as well, but at the end of all of this, we have seen no punishments handed out,” Dravid was quoted as saying in ESPNCricinfo.
The altercation happened as players left for lunch during the second day of the Trent Bridge Test. India had charged Anderson with a Level 3 offence for pushing Jadeja but England had filed a Level 2 charge against Jadeja arguing that he had allegedly wheeled around aggressively prompting Anderson to act in self-defence.
However, with no video evidence and with testimony from both sides being “hopelessly biased” judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis had let both players off. India had pushed for an appeal, but the ICC decided against it.
Anderson might function better when he is riled up, Dravid said, but he might have forgotten when to stop. That escalation prompted Dravid to highlight the difference between sledging — which he said was acceptable — and a personal attack, which should be eradicated.
“He (Anderson) is someone who, and I think he’s spoken about it that ‘I need to get motivated by being aggressive’... But the problem is at times I think he has overstepped the line, he has gone over the mark. Whether it was in this case or not we will actually never know.
“You don’t mind the odd sledging. People are getting confused about the difference between sledging and actual what is abuse here. And people have said ‘oh let’s move on’ or ‘let’s walk away from this’ but I think we can move on from sledging.
“We’ve been there, we’ve all played cricket games where you walk in and somebody uses the odd expletive when you get beaten and says ‘any chance of you nicking one’, you know ‘ your feet are stuck in cement’ stuff like that. You could go on and on about stuff like that, I’m sure that’s fine.
“But when you walk off the field abusing someone and making it personal, then I think that’s the danger when you do cross that line and things can happen where you get physical. So you’ve got to be very careful when you cross that line, and sort of stay within what is acceptable behaviour.”