Farokh Engineer, former Indian wicket-keeper who played nine seasons for Lancashire (the county in which Manchester is located), blamed the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its match referee David Boon for the lingering Jadeja-Anderson controversy.
Engineer, who still lives here, said, “I blame David Boon and the ICC” for allowing the Jadeja-Anderson spat to fester.
The controversy pertains to the touring Indian cricket squad charging England fast bowler James Anderson with pushing Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in breach of the ICC’s code of conduct and a judicial commissioner appointed by the world body thereafter finding him not guilty.
On Anderson, Engineer told the Guardian newspaper: “He’s a great bowler, a great lad and of course a fellow Lancastrian.” He, however, added: “I must stress that I don’t know what happened at Trent Bridge (scene of the alleged clash between Anderson and Jadeja).”
He went on to say: “M.S. Dhoni says he saw Jimmy (Anderson) push Jadeja and if that’s the case, Jimmy’s been naughty. It’s ridiculous that it has been dragged on for so long.”
“If I’d been the match referee – and I used to be one – I’d have had Jimmy and Jadeja sort it out between them and, if Jimmy was at fault, I’d have asked him to apologise. It should have been sorted out in five minutes.”
The fact is the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was prepared to discuss an apology from Anderson with Indian team manager Sunil Dev on the first morning of the second Test at Lord’s last month to close the matter. But Dhoni shot this down and insisted on taking the matter to an ICC judicial commissioner, where the Indians lost their claim.
It was pointed out to both Dev and BCCI’s interim president Shivlal Yadav that the Indian side was likely to lose the case, as there was apparently no independent evidence to support Dhoni’s allegation.
It was also conveyed to them that, if anything, there were signed depositions from third party witnesses contradicting Dhoni’s assertion. But such warning fell on deaf ears as Dhoni refused to budge.
The rebuff from the ICC’s judicial commissioner does not seem to have taught the BCCI a lesson. It is now harping on the absence of a video evidence to substantiate the Indian side’s claim.
Critics say Dhoni ought to have made certain video proof existed before hurtling headlong into a collision, which had ended in embarrassment for India, with Anderson being declared “not guilty of breaching the ICC code of conduct”.