ICC Commissioner Gordon Lewis: Why I did not punish Anderson

Sampath Bandarupalli / 05 August 2014

The ICC-appointed Judicial commissioner for Push gate, Gordon Lewis, who gave the hearing over the misconduct charges against James Anderson, said that the English pacer was found not guilty as there was no proper evidence to impose ban or penality, which were severe in reality.

Gordon said that the witnesses have been extremely biased in favour of their own players, and the only neutral witness was the Trent Bridge steward which hadn’t see much.

Also he added that there was no audio evidence to establish the abusive sledging or even a video footage of the pushing incident in the corridor towards the dressing rooms.

He said that imposing a Level 3 penalty without proper evidence will not be good for nature.

I considered the different standards of proof pertaining to charges at different levels under the Code, and with a level 3 charge the penalty could be four to eight suspension points or 2 to 4 Test matches,” said Gordon.

In monetary terms the loss of between $A40,000 and $A80,000 approx. In my view with potential penalties that severe, for me to be “comfortably satisfied” pursuant to Article 6.1, something close to beyond reasonable doubt was required,” said Gordon before media.

I then turned my mind to downgrading the charge to level 2 pursuant to Article 7.6.5. I considered whether I could be comfortably satisfied that an offence at that level had been committed when the sanction for a first offence potentially equated to between $A10,000 and $A30,000 (the fees payable as half of Anderson’s fee in the second test and his payment for a further full test match).“, Gordon informed.

He explained that, “When a Tribunal is dealing with someone’s livelihood, sanctions of that magnitude in my view, certainly require a standard of proof that is more than on the balance of probabilities and again I was not satisfied that an onus requiring a standard of proof at that higher level, had been discharged.

Anderson was facing a charge under Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players, following allegations that he pushed and abused Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of the first Test at Nottingham.

As I reflected on the evidence and the final submissions made by the representatives of the parties, I turned my mind to a possible downgrading of the charge to level 1. At this point, Mr. Adam Lewis’ (Jadeja’s counsel) final submission became relevant. He was helpfully guessing at what might have happened and inadvertently inviting me to do the same.

And whatever a Tribunal should or should not do, is to guess to achieve an outcome. In short I do not know on the evidence, and to the relevant standard of proof, what happened in the corridor leading to the stairway in those few seconds after the batsmen and fielding side came in for lunch. I cannot be comfortably satisfied as to the truth of either version of the evidence,” Gordon stated.

Indians admitted that Anderson pushed Jadeja in the back making him to turn around at him. Jadeja had allegedly stated that “Anderson continued to abuse him in the corridor and had ultimately pushed him in the back.” Jadeja denied any aggression on his part.

But according to England;s version, it was Jadeja who was the aggressor. In the corridor, when they approached the steps that led upstairs, the English pacer said that the Indian all-rounder suddenly turned around and aggressively came towards him and “got right up in my face”.

He said that he put up his hands in a defensive manner because of the way in which Jadeja came at him and Anderson claimed that he was completely taken aback by Jadeja’s ‘aggressive action’.

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