India captain prevented manager Sunil Dev from exploring settlement with ECB on Anderson affair
London: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shot down and consequently prevented the current manager of the touring party in England Sunil Dev from exploring a settlement with the manager, director of cricket at the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Paul Downton on the Jadeja-Anderson affair. This was gathered from a source who tried to mediate on the matter.
MS Dhoni during a practice session in Southampton last week. Pic/Getty Images
The issue led to egg being splattered on India's face in the form of the International Cricket Council's judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis on Friday flatly rejecting the visitors' charge that the England fast bowler James Anderson committed a serious Level 3 offence under the world body's code of conduct.
It is reliably learnt that, earlier, the chairman of the ECB had approached N Srinivasan, chairman of the ICC, to defuse the conflict and the latter did speak to Dhoni. But this initiative failed, as the Indian skipper was “adamant” about pursuing his claim.
On the day before last month's second Test at Lord's, an amicable solution to the fractious situation was proposed to both the ECB and Dev. The Indian side had accused Anderson of pushing the Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on the second day of the 1st Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The ECB countered this by charging Jadeja of a Level 2 offence for behaving in a provocative manner towards Anderson.
Significantly, the ECB never denied that an incident had occurred. It, however, described it as a “minor” matter and accused Jadeja of starting the quarrel in the first place. More importantly, an offer of mediation was accepted by both Downton and Dev. It was arranged the two would meet at the ECB office at Lord's midway through the first session of play on the opening day of the second Test. As the Indians were setting off from their hotel to the ground, though, Dev discussed the matter with Dhoni, who debarred the manager from meeting Downton.
It is now disclosed that the agenda for the Downton-Dev talks would have been to examine a six-point peace formula. This consisted of: a) Anderson issuing a suitable statement; b) Jadeja issuing a statement accepting Anderson's statement; c) the two publicly shaking hands to close the matter; d) the Indian side withdrawing their charge against Anderson; e) the ECB withdrawing their charge against Jadeja; f) the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and ECB issuing a joint statement explaining that the matter had been sorted out in order to uphold the spirit of cricket.
The mediator repeatedly pointed out to both Dev and the interim president of the BCCI Shivlal Yadav the Indian side were 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.