Faced with legal action for his derogatory comments against the RCA, former Australian cricketer Dean Jones defended his statement, saying that he never used any word that was deemed to be defamatory.
Jones stirred the hornet's nest with his remarks over the ongoing Shane Warne-RCA row over the pitches used for Rajasthan Royals' home games in the Indian Premier League.
"Please let it be known that I have at no point of time used the phrase 'licking his (Shane Warne's) feet'. Instead I said, 'please kiss his feet', which in simple words mean giving due respect," Jones said in his defence.
"If I have offended anybody then I am extremely sorry," he added. Jones was of the view that Warne should be given due respect for his contribution to Rajasthan Royals.
"I have seen many people saying that Sachin Tendulkar is a God. And Warne is a cricketing God to many people and to me. Warne has contributed so much to everybody and even to the great game of cricket. Instead of respecting him, people are chastising him when he is finishing his great career," Jones said in a statement.
"Warne has already announced his retirement from the IPL. It is against this background that this comment must be put into prespective that there was a problem with the pitch which was commented by both Warne and Tendulkar." Jones' lawyer, Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi, said that it is too trivial a matter for any court to take notice of.
"They must remember that whatever he (Jones) said was metaphorical," Tulsi said. The Rajasthan Cricket Association yesterday decided to lodge a criminal complaint against Rajasthan captain Warne at a local court for allegedly abusing its secretary Sanjay Dixit after an IPL match.
"It is an aggravated offence and it needs to be dealt with like that. Some kind of disciplinary action is to be taken. I don't know what kind of disciplinary action has been taken. A mere statement was being made and nothing more has been done, just proverbial red-herring," Dixit said.
The ugly incident happened on May 11 when Warne allegedly called Dixit a liar and egoistic after the award ceremony of the IPL tie between Rajasthan Royals and Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Sawai Man Singh stadium.
Warne was disappointed with Dixit for not acceding to his request for a favourable pitch for the match and allegedly walked up to Dixit and abused him for not replying to his messages. Royals' owner Shilpa Shetty had to intervene and apologise for the incident. The legal committee also discussed the matter of Jones.
"The matter of Dean Jones who stated on a TV channel that 'RCA should lick Shane Warne's feet' was considered and his remarks were taken to be a direct insult to RCA as an institution," RCA vice-president Rajkumar Mathur had said.