Rahul Dravid criticises the ‘not guilty’ verdict
Manchester: Former India skipper Rahul Dravid has slammed the 'not guilty' verdict given to James Anderson in the 'pushgate' incident and said the administrators of the game have sent out a "wrong message" by letting off the England pacer without any punishment.
Dravid has said that Anderson, who allegedly pushed Ravindra Jadeja, warranted some reprimand as evidence of abuse was clearly mentioned in umpire Bruce Oxenford's report.
"The message we've given out at the moment, the game has given out, is that it's okay to do this stuff (abuse), which I think is wrong. I think there needed to be some sort of action taken," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo.
"Some punishments needed to be handed out. We all know from Bruce Oxenford's report what Jimmy (Anderson) has said, the words that he's used. That is on the report and no one is denying the fact that there was that kind of abuse and England is claiming that Jadeja turned and so we must bring that into the equation as well, but at the end of all of this, we have seen no punishments handed out," he said.
The infamous pushgate incident took place as the players were leaving for lunch during the second day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.
India had charged Anderson with a Level 3 offence for pushing Jadeja but England resorted back by filing a Level 2 charge against the Indian all-rounder, arguing that he had allegedly wheeled around aggressively prompting Anderson to act in self-defence.
However, with no video evidence and with testimony from both sides being "hopelessly biased", judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis' have found both Anderson and Jadeja not guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct at a hearing in Southampton last week.
A miffed BCCI later requested ICC CEO Dave Richardson to appeal against the verdict of Lewis but in yet another blow to India the world body on Thursday rejected their review plea on the Judicial Commissioner's verdict.
Dravid said it is a known fact that Anderson loves to play the game in an "aggressive" way but at times England's premier fast bowler has failed to remain within the limit.
"He (Anderson) is someone who, and I think he's spoken about it that 'I need to get motivated by being aggressive'...
But the problem is at times I think he has overstepped the line, he has gone over the mark. Whether it was in this case or not we will actually never know," the batting great said.
"You don't mind the odd sledging. People are getting confused about the difference between sledging and actual what is abuse here. And people have said 'oh lets move on' or 'lets walk away from this' but I think we can move on from sledging.
"We've been there, we've all played cricket games where you walk in and somebody uses the odd expletive when you get beaten and says 'any chance of you nicking one', you know ' your feet are stuck in cement' stuff like that. You could go on and on about stuff like that, I'm sure that's fine," he said.
"But when you walk off the field abusing someone and making it personal, then I think that's the danger when you do cross that line and things can happen where you get physical.
So you've got to be very careful when you cross that line, and sort of stay within what is acceptable behaviour," Dravid added.