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India question lack of video for Anderson case

George Dobell
July 19, 2014 « Wenger: I can't guarantee Vermaelen will stay | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
A preliminary hearing about James Anderson's Level 3 charge will take place on Tuesday © Getty Images
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Indian officials have questioned why crucial video footage that could have shed light on the alleged altercation between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja is not available.

The Indian team allege that Anderson initiated physical contact with Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Anderson will attend a preliminary hearing in London on Tuesday morning, after he was charged with a Level 3 offence under the ICC's code of conduct. If the charge is upheld, Anderson could be suspended for anything up to four Tests. The hearing will be held over teleconference with Australian Gordon Lewis presiding.

While players from both teams are set to provide conflicting evidence, India have requested that footage from a video camera situated just outside the dressing rooms where the incident occurred be made available.

A Nottinghamshire spokesman confirmed to ESPN that a camera had been installed in the relevant area but insisted that it had not been active at the time.

India have reacted with incredulity to the response that the camera was not switched on at the time. They have also expressed some disappointment that none of the broadcasters appear to have footage of the alleged incident.

But the ECB and Nottinghamshire deny any suggestion that any evidence has been suppressed. Instead, they say that the camera was installed only a few weeks ago in order to provide visitors to the club's website with some insight to life inside the pavilion during major games. It is not currently online and the ECB insists it never has been.

The development is the latest in an episode that has done nothing to improve relations between the teams. While India captain MS Dhoni has said Anderson "crossed the line" during the alleged altercation, England captain Alastair Cook has said India are using the incident as "a tactic" to sideline England's leading bowler and have made "a mountain out of a molehill" by escalating it to a Level 3 offence.

England also hit back by making a complaint about Jadeja leading to the ICC levelling a Level 2 charge.

But a BCCI official confirmed to ESPN that their complaint was the result of building frustration at Anderson's behaviour. The official stated that India felt they had a responsibility to bring a case against the player as he had, in their words, earned a reputation with opposition teams around the world as being unusually abusive.

They were also unhappy that Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket, intervened to try to persuade India coach, Duncan Fletcher, to have the charge withdrawn. However, the ECB has indicated that Fletcher was initially open to a more amicable solution and it was Dhoni who wanted to take the matter further.

Certainly there seems little chance that the issue can be resolved with a handshake. While the ICC chief executive Dave Richardson confirmed to ESPN that the complaints could be withdrawn, the India camp is adamant that Anderson's behaviour is a boil that needs lancing and there appears to be very little common ground between the opposing sides.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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