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Manchester: Aug 6, 2014
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may be pressing for a harsh punishment against James Anderson but former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer said the England pacer does not merit a four-match ban for his spat with Ravindra Jadeja and suggested that he would have sorted out the issue in minutes. Engineer, a former ICC match referee, said that even though he was not aware of the details of the altercation, he cannot believe that the Indians would have wanted Anderson to be banned.
“It’s a narrow corridor in the dressing rooms there. MS Dhoni says he saw Jimmy push Jadeja and, if that’s the case, Jimmy’s been a bit naughty. But it certainly doesn’t merit a four-match suspension,” Engineer was quoted as saying by The Guardian. The former India stumper is also not amused with the issue being dragged for so long and weighing on the series.
“It’s ridiculous that it has all dragged on for so long. I blame the match referee (David Boon) and the ICC. If I’d been the match referee and I used to be one, I’d have had Jimmy and Jadeja into my room there and then, asked them to sort it out between them and, if Jimmy was at fault, I’d have asked him to apologise. If he refused, then it could have been an issue but it should have all been sorted out in five minutes,” Engineer said.
“I must stress that I don’t know what happened in that corridor at Trent Bridge,” he added. “I really can’t believe the Indians would have wanted Jimmy to be banned because, as an Indian who still wants India to win, even in Lancashire … I wouldn’t regard it as a proper win unless they beat the full England team,” he opined.
Engineer, who spent nine seasons with Lancashire from 1968 to 1976, even remembers offering Anderson some friendly advice when running into him at the christening of one of Andrew Flintoff’s children several years ago.
“That was when he was down and out, Jimmy was even dropped from the Lancashire team and I was able to have a little word with him,” explains Engineer, now 76 and relishing the prospect of spending the next five days at Old Trafford.
“I told him then, you’re a genuine swing bowler and you will come good. I rate him very, very highly and I hope he breaks Ian Botham’s record. He’s a great bowler, a great lad and, of course, a fellow Lancastrian,” he said.
Engineer, who is always ready with an anecdote from the past, also recalled that he played a part in Sachin Tendulkar’s first Test hundred at Old Trafford, in 1990.
“I had the Indian team back to my house for a really big party, we had Fred Trueman there, Brian Johnston, Ian Botham, all the commentators. I can still see Sachin now, sitting on the swing in the back garden, his feet not touching the ground,” he said. Tendulkar, who had just turned 17, scored an unbeaten 119 the following day to save India from defeat, the first of his 51 Test centuries. “After that I always used to tell him if he was struggling to come round to my house for a barbecue,” Engineer said with a chuckle.
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