The Telegraph
Thursday , August 7 , 2014
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‘No place for offensive language’


Calcutta: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided not to exercise its discretion to appeal against the not-guilty verdict handed to James Anderson in the altercation case involving Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge. It has also stressed that there is “no place in the game” for personal insult among players.

The Level 3 offence Anderson was charged with was heard on Friday by judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis, who let him off citing lack of video evidence and impartial testimony.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had put the issue back on the table with a letter expressing its disappointment with the ruling but the governing body has not bowed to the pressure. In its letter, the BCCI had requested the ICC to lodge an appeal, as only chief executive David Richardson or the player concerned (had the verdict gone against him) can stake the claim.

This means the England fast bowler goes into the fourth Test at Old Trafford without the threat of disciplinary action hanging over him. Having indicated on Tuesday that it would consider the BCCI’s desire for an appeal, the governing body has decided not to push the case further.

The ICC believes the dispute has been investigated thoroughly and an appeal would serve no purpose.

“This outcome is the result of two exhaustive and thorough disciplinary processes and, after considering the written decision, the ICC is satisfied with the manner in which the decisions have been reached,” Richardson said in a media release on Wednesday.

“The disciplinary procedures were robust and transparent and all parties had ample opportunity to ask questions, test the evidence and make submissions. We have determined that there is no merit in an appeal and that it would not be in the best interest of the sport to take such action.

“It was a complicated and sensitive matter relating to charges brought against two players at different levels of the ICC Code of Conduct. There appears to have been vastly conflicting evidence on both sides, with a total of 13 witnesses who gave testimony. After carefully considering the decision by Gordon Lewis, whose vast experience was invaluable to the process over recent weeks, we believe that no further purpose would be served by prolonging the process through further appeal proceedings.

“As a matter of best practice, the ICC will now review the procedures as set out in the Code and reflect upon the comments made by Gordon Lewis in his decision about how a case of this nature might better be provided for in the future.”

On the use of offensive language, Richardson said: “International cricket is tough, competitive and uncompromising but we must reiterate that there is no place in the game for the use of offensive language that is personally insulting of one player by another.

“It is imperative that all captains, players and coaches as well as umpires and referees are reminded of and do not shirk their responsibility to one another and to the game.”

Anderson admitted swearing at Jadeja, but denied that he had pushed him. However, with a lack of decisive CCTV evidence and the conflicting nature of testimony from the opposing sides, Lewis was unable to determine where the burden of guilt lay and Richardson saw no benefit in challenging the verdict.

India were infuriated that Anderson was not disciplined after it was claimed he “pushed and abused” Jadeja. The incident allegedly occurred in the pavilion stairs as the players walked off for lunch on Day II of the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.