It used to be that cricket was a Gentleman’s game. A sport where players did the right thing, and if they didn’t they were a bit of a cad. Even if the likes of the great WG Grace tried to pull the wool over the umpires the umpire still had the last word.
There was very little gentlemanly in the exchange between England’s fast bowler and Indian batsman Ravindra Jadeja
After reviewing the incident The ICC has confirmed that it will not appeal the decision relating to James Anderson after the England paceman’s Trent Bridge controversy with India’s Ravindra Jadeja.
Anderson and Jadeja, batting at the time, had exchanged words as the players left the field during the lunch break. It was then alleged that this exchange of words had escalated into a more serious disagreement, out of the public’s view, when inside the inner sanctum of the pavilion.
Following a hearing the retired Australian judge Gordon Lewis and ICC judicial commissioner he adjudged the pair “not guilty” of breaching the ICC’s code of conduct following a disciplinary hearing in Southampton last Friday.
Indian officials were furious with this outcome and BCCI secretary advised the media that they had written to the ICC stating their displeasure with the decision. He also confirmed that they had highlighted flaws within the hearing process. India having no right to appeal on the decision, only the ICC, who are in fact the prosecutor, being the only ones with that right.
Yesterday the ICC announced that it would not be appealing the decision, one that could have seen Anderson banned for four test matches had he been found guilty. “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,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson is quoted as saying
He went on to say “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.”
Just as when cricket was a game played by gentlemen, and if there was doubt over a decision it always went in favour of the batsman – one that has now been completely eroded thanks to technology – it would appear that a man’s right of appeal has been stripped away as well.
However Richardson did give players who feel aggrieved a window of hope when in true administrative view he stated “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.”
Surely one such way is to give the accused or at least those involved in the incident the right to appeal and not have that fall solely to the powers that be?