LONDON: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s insistence to press charges against James Anderson came under attack from the British media on Saturday. The press said it “smacked of opportunism” and the exoneration of the paceman was “humiliation” for India. The Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis found both Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja not guilty in an alleged pushing incident involving the two players after a marathon six-hour hearing. “... a finding that represents clear humiliation for India and their captain MS Dhoni, who initiated proceedings after a spat between the two at Trent Bridge,” wrote the Daily Telegraph under headline, ‘India humiliated as England’s James Anderson in clear’.
The paper went on to describe that India’s tactics were aimed at taking revenge on Anderson for past incidents. “It is a chastening verdict for cricket’s leading power. ...India’s players have long thought Anderson’s boorish sledging to be unacceptable and their admission probably weakened their case here which smacked of opportunism to get the bowler for past misdemeanours. Dhoni’s persistence with the charge, after the two boards had instructed the players to sort it out, made it look like a personal crusade for which Duncan Fletcher, India’s coach, in a rare misjudgment, backed him,” the Daily Telegraph wrote.
“You cannot hope to get a player banned (the intended outcome once India had lodged a level three complaint) for being annoying, that is a separate matter, and with no independent witnesses and no video evidence for the alleged spat in the Trent Bridge pavilion (which India claimed to have) Lewis clearly found there was no case to answer,” the paper wrote.
The Daily Mail came up with another scathing piece under the headline, ‘India need to MAN UP after embarrassing farce of charges against James Anderson.’ “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. It was like Fred Karno’s circus!,” wrote David Lloyd.
The Guardian was also critical of Dhoni’s action. “So those who derided the whole process - which began on 10 July when India’s captain MS Dhoni felt sufficiently strongly to insist on going straight to the ICC to press level three charges without even going through his own board - as a waste of time and money have been proved emphatically correct,” the paper wrote under headline ‘Jimmy Anderson cleared by ICC as India suffer another humiliation’.
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