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Dhoni and his boys hailed for recalling Bell


Nottingham : India’s cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys were hailed by the cricketing world for upholding the spirit of the game by recalling England batsman Ian Bell, who was run out in a farcical way on the third day of the second cricket Test here Sunday.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said, “The credit must go to Dhoni and the Indian cricket team.”

“While the initial appeal and umpire decision may have been acceptable to the letter of the law, the decision by Dhoni and his team – as well as the Team India coaching staff – to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity.” Lorgat said.

“To see players and officials uphold the Great Spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special. I am indeed grateful for the way that the teams and match officials handled what was clearly a difficult situation and their behaviour reflects well on everyone,” he said.

At the end of the afternoon session at Trent Bridge, England batsman Ian Bell was given run out after leaving his crease in the belief that tea had been called by on-field umpires Asad Rauf and Marais Erasmus.

On appeal, after consultation with television umpire Billy Bowden, Bell was given run out, which was the technically correct decision under the letter of the law.

But during the break, England captain and coach requested Dhoni to withdraw the appeal and the Indian captain obliged after discussing with the team.

Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri showered praises on the Indian team for the gesture.

“Full marks to Dhoni and Team India for upholding the spirit of the game. That’s how the game should be played,” said Gavaskar.

Ganguly said: “Dhoni did a great job by recalling Bell to bat after tea. According to law, Bell was rightly given out but he never intended to take the fourth run. It shows a great spirit from the Indian team.”

Former England cricketer David Lloyd hoped Bell had learnt a valuable lesson on life.

“I always played it tough, but I played fair too, and what India did just didn’t look right to me. Having said that, it was absolute class for India and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to change their minds. It was a little embarrassing that the crowd booed them as they came out after the tea interval without knowing the facts. Ian Bell? He’ll never make that mistake again,” said Lloyd while commentating on STAR Cricket.

Former England captain Ian Botham said Bell didn’t deserve to be called back.

“Having been legitimately run out by the Indians with his mind on a huge round of applause and a cup of tea, he had no right to expect to be batting after the break. He was out. I can understand why MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal and decided to go along with the spirit of the game, but I would have had no problem if he had upheld it and sent a message about dopey cricket,” Botham was quoted as saying in the English media.