Anderson cleared to continue

James Anderson has been in fine form for England in the series against India

James Anderson has been in fine form for England in the series against India

First published in National Sport © by

James Anderson is free to play in the remainder of the Investec Test series after he was found not guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct.

The England fast bowler was in danger of a ban of up to four Test matches if found guilty of a Level 3 charge of "pushing and abusing" India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was also cleared of any wrongdoing on Friday, in the pavilion stairwell during the first Test at Trent Bridge.

But ICC judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis decided neither player transgressed, meaning Anderson is free to play in the fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford next week and the final encounter at the Oval.

Jadeja had been fined half his match fee, a sum thought to be in the region of £3,000, for his part in the incident but Lewis upheld his appeal.

The series is level at 1-1 after Anderson's man-of-the-match performance helped England to their first Test victory in almost a year at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

It was alleged that, after Anderson and Jadeja had exchanged words as they left the field for lunch on day two of the first Test, their disagreement had escalated out of the public view.

Repercussions were significant, and England could ill afford to lose their linchpin fast bowler and series leading wicket-taker.

Instead, though, Lewis threw out the charges and Anderson will be free to take his place in the side on Thursday.

The ICC announced in a press release: "His Honor Gordon Lewis AM, the judicial commissioner, has found both England's James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja of India not guilty of breaching the ICC code of conduct.

"The judicial commissioner reached his decisions following a six-hour hearing, which took place via video-conference."

England coach Peter Moores will be delighted to have the country's all-time highest wicket-taker in all formats at his disposal and, speaking before the verdict, was full of praise for the Lancastrian's performance on the south coast.

"I'm not going to start judging Jimmy Anderson on everything he does and doesn't do," he said.

"What I will say is that at the moment we celebrate the fact that he's bowling at his best.

"The whole Test, he's been great. But the spell he bowled on the last morning was a real masterclass of swing bowling.

"(It was) on a pitch that was drying, had something in it - but his control of line, length and the decisions he made to put batsmen under pressure was outstanding."

The allegation against Anderson was made to the ICC by India team manager Sunil Dev, with the England and Wales Cricket Board indicating its surprise at the time the complaint was lodged, describing the matter as a "minor" incident.

On Saturday former England coach David Lloyd admitted the outcome of the case had not come as a surprise to him and felt a fuss had been made over nothing.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "What an absolute joke that was. It should never have reached the stage where they were involving lawyers, defendants and witnesses, like some serious court case.

"A bloke's been pushed for goodness' sake. And it didn't even happen on the field of play. That would have been different, but why they've made such and song and dance over this, God only knows."

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