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Anderson crossed the line of respect, says Brearley

Last updated on: August 13, 2014 16:35 IST

Anderson crossed the line of respect, says Brearley

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As the storm settles down over the spat between Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson, former England captain Mike Brearley says the pacer should be encouraged to harness his aggression but not at the expense of respect.

Brearley, writing in his column for The Times, said Anderson is not being a role model when he crosses the line of proper respect.

"Earlier in the summer, when the kerfuffle with Ravindra Jadeja was first publicised, an England spokesman said the management back their key bowler to the hilt," Brearley said.

"I would agree about competitiveness -- a top sportsman needs it (to the hilt). Such an attitude is a form of respect to the opposition," he said.

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Image: England's James Anderson (right) tries to stop the ball as India's Ravindra Jadeja takes a single
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Anderson crossed the line of respect, says Brearley

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"But what I find lacking in the 'to the hilt' support is toughness in the loyalty, a willingness to make and address a distinction between aggression on one hand and contempt on the other.

"By all means encourage Anderson (and others) to be aggressive; but surely one can, at the same time, confront the boorishness of some of his gestures and language," he said.

The alleged incident took place as the players were leaving for lunch during the second day of the first Test in Nottingham, last month.

But the International Cricket Council's judicial commission pronounced Anderson not guilty, and later the international body also rejected the Board of Control for Cricket in India's review plea of the verdict.

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Image: James Anderson (left) has a few words with India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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'Encourage Anderson to harness his aggression but not at the expense of respect'

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"The incident between him and Jadeja (which it seems was exaggerated by India) took place not on the field (across the white boundary line) but off it. I wonder if there were two reasons why India became so incensed and litigious: first, they may well have been fed up with Anderson's demeanour on the field; second, the field, like the stage, is a sacred space in which aggression and competition can within the rules and ethos of the game, be expressed with greater freedom than in the more humdrum, more polite social spaces off the field," Brearley said.

"So by all means encourage Anderson to harness his aggression, to give full rein to his terrific skill, to honour his own truth, to avoid timidity or 'nicey-niceness'. But not at the expense of respect and humour," he added.

- Coverage: India's tour of England


Image: Ravindra Jadeja (left) speaks with James Anderson during the second Test at Lord's in London
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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