ICC not to appeal Anderson ruling

James Anderson, right, will definitely be free to play the final two Tests of the series

James Anderson, right, will definitely be free to play the final two Tests of the series

First published in National Sport News © by

The International Cricket Council has decided not to appeal against the ruling that saw England seamer James Anderson found not guilty of breaching its code of conduct.

Anderson was last week cleared of any wrong-doing by judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis relating to having been accused by India of pushing and abusing their all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the Trent Bridge pavilion during the first Investec Test.

Only the ICC, via chief executive Dave Richardson, could challenge that verdict - as well as the one that cleared Jadeja of a lesser charge - but after announcing on Tuesday that it would consider the verdict, the governing body has decided not to push the case further.

Richardson said: "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's refusal to re-open a case that was heard at length via teleconference after last week's Test at the Ageas Bowl finally draws the Anderson-Jadeja saga to an end.

The England seamer, top wicket-taker in the series and man-of-the-match in Southampton, had been facing a ban of up to four Tests if found guilty but can now go into his home match at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday with no cloud hanging over him.

The decision will be welcomed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, who were surprised to see the issue escalated so far by the tourists, while India will be highly aggrieved.

They have been eager to see Anderson punished, with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni thought to have resisted all attempts to find a diplomatic solution.

Lewis' ruling, which was delivered with surprising speed given the prolonged and exhaustive nature of the hearing, had focused on the lack of decisive CCTV evidence and the conflicting nature of testimony from the opposing sides.

As such Richardson, a trained lawyer himself, saw no benefit to a challenge.

"It was a complicated and sensitive matter relating to charges brought against two players at different levels of the ICC code of conduct," Richardson noted.

"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.

"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."

Lewis had also called on the ICC to look again at their disciplinary code after finding its terms unwieldy in his first appearance as a commissioner.

Richardson added: "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."

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