James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja: 5 Key Questions Ahead of Hearing

Chris Bradshaw@@BradshawCDFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2014

James Anderson-Ravindra Jadeja: 5 Key Questions Ahead of Hearing

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    England fast bowler James Anderson will face a full disciplinary hearing on 1 August following accusations that he pushed and verbally abused India's Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge.

    The International Cricket Council also confirmed on Tuesday that Jadeja will face a lesser charge at a date yet to be determined.

    What punishments can both players expect if found guilty? How does the evidence stack up? Why has the whole process taken so long? What effect will the hearing have on the remainder of the series?

    Read on to find out. 

1. What Punishments Await?

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    Anderson has been charged with a level-three breach of the ICC Code of Conduct and faces a ban of up to four matches if found guilty.

    Even if the England paceman is cleared of the most serious charge, he could still face a level-two punishment if judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis considers him guilty of a breach at that level.

    The penalty for a level-two offence is a fine of 50 to 100 percent of a player's match fee and/or a one-match ban.

    Ravindra Jadeja is facing a level-two charge. His hearing will be heard by match referee David Boon at a date to be announced. 

2. Evidence

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    Much to the chagrin of the Indians, there appears to be no video footage of the Trent Bridge incident.

    ESPNCricinfo's George Dobell reported last week that a camera had been installed outside the dressing rooms, but a Nottinghamshire spokesman said that "it had not been active at the time."

    Without any visual evidence, it looks like it will boil down to who offers the most convincing witness testimony. 

3. How Does the ECB's Case Against Jadeja Play into It All?

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    Jadeja stands accused of a level-two offence, with England alleging that he "took steps towards Anderson in an aggressive and threatening manner."

    England's response seems slightly unusual given that captain Alastair Cook knew nothing about the whole Anderson/Jadeja spat until the Test had finished.

    In a press conference reported by the BBC, Cook said: "No-one knew about it until after the game. It does seem a bit of a surprise that I got a text message and a phone call on Monday afternoon. I literally hadn't heard anything about it."

    From the outside, the ECB charge seems to be a tit-for-tat measure. If Anderson hadn't been charged, would Jadeja have been? It seems unlikely. 

4. Timing: Why Has It Taken so Long?

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    The alleged incident between Anderson and Jadeja happened on Thursday, 10 July. A full three weeks will have passed by the time the full hearing finally takes place.

    Former Australian judge Gordon Lewis will then have a further 48 hours to announce his decision in writing.

    Given the seriousness of the charges levelled against the players, it is only right that all the required legal steps are carried out in a thorough and professional manner.

    The packed, back-to-back Test schedule has made the logistics of fitting in the hearing difficult, especially as a preliminary tribunal had to be scheduled in the interim.

    It does seem a little strange that if Anderson does receive the maximum penalty of a four-match ban, only two of those Tests will be against England's current opponents.

    Was there really no way for the ICC to speed things up? 

5. How Will the Case Affect the Rest of the Series?

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    If Anderson hoped to rattle the Indians with some "mental disintegration," it seems to have backfired spectacularly.

    In fact, it appears to have had precisely the opposite effect of what was desired. Despite the green pitch, Anderson looked a shadow of the bowler who sits second on the list of England's all-time Test wicket-takers.

    Jadeja, meanwhile, performed well at Lord's, taking wickets and scoring crucial second-innings runs before running out Anderson to seal the win.

    It's hard to see how having a potential four-match ban hanging over their most prolific bowler will galvanise Alastair Cook's side in Southampton.

    For MS Dhoni's men, it will be added incentive to finish off the job started at Lord's.