Spirit of the game August 1, 2011

Spirit of the game, or was Dhoni a sucker?

On the second day at Trent Bridge, Ian Bell was out according to the rules of the game. He forgot them and he paid for it
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One of the reasons Aristotle is among my favourite philosophers - besides his suggestion that the lowly are not to be disdained in our intellectual study of the world around us - is that he beautifully explicates the notion of the golden mean. This thought is most perspicuously developed in the Nichomachean Ethics, Book 2. A read of that chapter might have been useful at Trent Bridge during the Ian Bell drama for everyone - umpires, cricketers, fans, commentators - especially when it comes to Aristotle's notion of generosity.

In an academic paper on the morality of cricketing practices, my good friend David Coady and I, while discussing the ethics of Mankading, and in particular Courtney Walsh's decision not to Mankad Saleem Jaffar during the 1987 World Cup, wrote:

For Aristotle, generosity, like all the moral virtues, is a mean between two vices, one of deficiency and one of excess. The modern parlance for the vice of excessive generosity is being a sucker. A sucker is not being truly generous, because he gives where there is neither need nor desert.

In our opinion, Walsh was a sucker; Jaffar was exploiting his generosity; Walsh and his team paid for it.

On the second day at Trent Bridge, Ian Bell was out according to the rules of the game. He forgot them and he paid for it. MS Dhoni agreed to rescind his appeal, thanks to a personal appeal from the England captain and coach. I think Dhoni was a sucker. He was within his rights to appeal.

And the umpires on the ground, presumably well-versed with the laws of cricket, had given Bell out. Years ago, in his debut Test against England during the 1981-82 series, Kris Srikkanth went walkabout without attempting a run, forgetting the ball wasn't dead, and was run out by John Emburey; everyone chuckled at the silliness of the confused young batsman, who had been exposed to the 'hard knocks' world of Test cricket.

Had Dhoni withdrawn his appeal because the umpires had made a bad decision, for instance, if he knew his fielder had taken a bump-ball catch, then Dhoni would have been a true sportsman. In yesterday's circumstances, Dhoni was gypped, and royally, by a captain and coach, who, just a couple of days ago, forbade Monty Panesar from practising with Sachin Tendulkar, something that everyone would have considered within the spirit of the game.

Invoking the spirit of the game for this decision and this decision alone is ludicrous and hopelessly inconsistent. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's incoherent. Bowlers sledge, batsmen don't walk, batsmen stand their ground when caught and don't take the fielder's word for it, the umpire's decision is not final (everyone in the fair land of spirit of the game wants the DRS apparently), but a captain is expected to withdraw his appeal when the batsman is out within the rules of the game?

Cricket, its players, and its fans and media need to resolve their schizophrenic attitude toward this.

Generosity also demands reciprocity. Will Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower ask James Anderson to not sledge the India batsmen now? Will the England batsmen walk? Will the England batsmen not stand their ground any more when India fielders claim catches? Will the crowd at Trent Bridge boo Kevin Pietersen if he sledges Yuvraj Singh from gully? I don't know.

But we'll find out.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • muhammad umer on October 13, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    i agree with ammar zaheer...absolutely a brainless article.... just to show off good indian spirit..i agree dhoni did a commendable job and deserved the accolades for that...but the writer seemed to be blaming the england players..only to save indian players blushes.. please dont forget what indians do on the field..i dont want to recall what yuvraj,harbhajan,kohli,zaheer start to call out when they take a wicket or a catch...england playesr are no robots and what bell did was sheer stupidity...dhoni was absolutely right to appeal..but dont forget what happened in the 4th odi...i am not blaming only indians but also english...but the writer only seems to see the errors of englishmen...atleast they are better than indians...in my point of view

  • Adeel Wasim on August 15, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    A lot has been said about that episode. May be the writer is a little annoyed of Indian defeat in that test but we have to agree that whatever combination of errors was witnessed in Bell's runout was corrected by Dhoni. India was already on the backfoot in the test but I feel Dhoni realized that victory in this form is worse than defeat. He proved himself not as a generous man but someone who knows what values more in terms of morality and ethics. Calling him a sucker is absurd and an insult to all Indian Team as it was a consolidated verdict. Sorry my friend but the only thing I find in your article is good use of English but nothing else.

  • nikhil on August 14, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    i really appreciate what dhoni did to upheld the spirit of the game...but its only india who plays this game according to the right spirit,which cannot be understood........i think dhoni should'nt have forget what ian bell did with jellybeans when we visited england last year.....really its dhoni pity feeling to england which made india lose at trentbridge

  • Sudheer, Dehradun on August 12, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Nasser hussain says if you want to get out Pieterson, then play with his ego and he'll give you his wicket.Same goes with Ian Bell. both KP and Bell have full ego in them.When Bell said that he wasn't going on for the 4th run, I was really surprised.One could easily see him running towards morgan. But when Morgan did not respond he tried to make fool of umpires through his gestures, as if he is innocent.As far as Dhoni and his men are concerned they called back Bell because they had fear of English team deliberately doing same things and more importantly the fear of playing in front of wooing English Crowd.

  • RajIN on August 12, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    WHATEVER DHONI DID WAS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT . IT DIDNT TOOK GAME AWAY FROM US ( IF FEW PPL ARE REGRETTING THE DECISION AS BELL GOT OUT AFTER SCORING FEW MORE RUNS ) BUT NEVER MIND . WATEVER DECISION DHONI HAS TAKEN IN PAST AND WILL TAKE IN FURTURE WE WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT HIM . DO NOT FORGET HE IS HAVING TREMENDOUS SELF BELIEF IN HIMSELF WHICH SEPERATES HIM FROM OTHER CAPTAINS AND THAT THE REASON HE IS STANDING TALL AT THE POSITION WHICH MANY CRICKETERS/CAPTAINS MIGHT HAVE DREAMT FOR LONG AND ARE STILL TRYING TO BE THERE . HE IS OUR CAPTAIN COOL AND WE SHOULD NOT ONLY SUPPORT HIM DURING GOOD TIMES BUT ALSO WHEN HE FIGHTING HARD TO GET THINGS ON TRACK .

  • Aditya Goel on August 10, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    What Dhoni did is something that will take strength of character (something that neither the England coach nor the captain seem to have, not even remotely).Bell was so disoriented as to walk off with the ball not being dead completely, and Straussy and Flower expect us to pay for their mistakes or were they so worried as to what might happen if Bell got out.'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' MY FOOT. Pretty sure that Straussy would not have done it even if it meant saving the game from going down in the dumps.And stopping Panesar practicing with Sachin, who stoops so down as to do that, Straussy and Flower do!!! Swann is no better than Panesar by the way, and Straussy and Flower will do well to understand the simple mathematics of cricket that the stats are not in their favour and well from a mediocre captain and a mediocre coach(who by the way was a very very mediocre player too) nothing more could be expected.

  • sunny on August 8, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    This is pathetic on part of journalism to think something like that and create a blog. To me it shows more about the authors thinking, intent and may be way of life rather than about the incidence itself. Lot of things are as per your thinking and interpretation. It reflects who you are and how you take things in life. There is no right or wrong way, just depends how you want to see - glass half full or half empty.

    Just listening to Doni and why he decided to do so ("WE DID WANT WE THOUGHT WAS RIGHT") speaks for itself. How many people can think and act outside the norms and rule books and say THIS IS WHAT I FEEL IS RIGHT TO ME.

    Again, I choose to see the glass half full and see a great act rather than thinking negatively.

    I agree with Tony, this is shameless journalism. Calling someone a sucker is pathetic.

  • tony on August 8, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    2 -3 days ago I put my comment that is against most of them commenting and showing the act that Dhoni did, which he would have not done initially to avoild all the stories, BUT THAT COMMENTS ARE NOT SHOWN HERE AS IT IS NOT FAVOURING INDIA..THIS IS THE BLOODY STANDARD OF INDIAN SUCKERS, THEY ONLY WANT ALWAYS TO WIN AND SAY THEY ARE THE GREATE BUGGERS FOR EVERYTHING...That is why a comment that tals about true incident happend not published by the so called editors/reports. shamless jounalism, as mentioned by Venkat above in this comment..too sensational than factual...bullish indian

  • Anonymous on August 8, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Dhoni was right to call Ian Bell back as taking any other action would not be right. I think that he has left a good example for all the cricketers.

  • lafologist on August 7, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    ....."sucker"......language...dude...you teach philosophy.....there is no. philosophy here...anybody else could have quoted aristole.......the only truth ..if there is any Ian Bell would know and probably would tell when he decides to write a book after retiring..till then ....we all can make prejudices...mine says he is a smart jhony walker arse...knew he would never make it back so keep walking....and for Dhoni...JST BE STRONG SKIP...BAD TIME IS QUITE SIMILAR TO GOOD TIME.....IT CHANGES....

  • muhammad umer on October 13, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    i agree with ammar zaheer...absolutely a brainless article.... just to show off good indian spirit..i agree dhoni did a commendable job and deserved the accolades for that...but the writer seemed to be blaming the england players..only to save indian players blushes.. please dont forget what indians do on the field..i dont want to recall what yuvraj,harbhajan,kohli,zaheer start to call out when they take a wicket or a catch...england playesr are no robots and what bell did was sheer stupidity...dhoni was absolutely right to appeal..but dont forget what happened in the 4th odi...i am not blaming only indians but also english...but the writer only seems to see the errors of englishmen...atleast they are better than indians...in my point of view

  • Adeel Wasim on August 15, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    A lot has been said about that episode. May be the writer is a little annoyed of Indian defeat in that test but we have to agree that whatever combination of errors was witnessed in Bell's runout was corrected by Dhoni. India was already on the backfoot in the test but I feel Dhoni realized that victory in this form is worse than defeat. He proved himself not as a generous man but someone who knows what values more in terms of morality and ethics. Calling him a sucker is absurd and an insult to all Indian Team as it was a consolidated verdict. Sorry my friend but the only thing I find in your article is good use of English but nothing else.

  • nikhil on August 14, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    i really appreciate what dhoni did to upheld the spirit of the game...but its only india who plays this game according to the right spirit,which cannot be understood........i think dhoni should'nt have forget what ian bell did with jellybeans when we visited england last year.....really its dhoni pity feeling to england which made india lose at trentbridge

  • Sudheer, Dehradun on August 12, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Nasser hussain says if you want to get out Pieterson, then play with his ego and he'll give you his wicket.Same goes with Ian Bell. both KP and Bell have full ego in them.When Bell said that he wasn't going on for the 4th run, I was really surprised.One could easily see him running towards morgan. But when Morgan did not respond he tried to make fool of umpires through his gestures, as if he is innocent.As far as Dhoni and his men are concerned they called back Bell because they had fear of English team deliberately doing same things and more importantly the fear of playing in front of wooing English Crowd.

  • RajIN on August 12, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    WHATEVER DHONI DID WAS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT . IT DIDNT TOOK GAME AWAY FROM US ( IF FEW PPL ARE REGRETTING THE DECISION AS BELL GOT OUT AFTER SCORING FEW MORE RUNS ) BUT NEVER MIND . WATEVER DECISION DHONI HAS TAKEN IN PAST AND WILL TAKE IN FURTURE WE WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT HIM . DO NOT FORGET HE IS HAVING TREMENDOUS SELF BELIEF IN HIMSELF WHICH SEPERATES HIM FROM OTHER CAPTAINS AND THAT THE REASON HE IS STANDING TALL AT THE POSITION WHICH MANY CRICKETERS/CAPTAINS MIGHT HAVE DREAMT FOR LONG AND ARE STILL TRYING TO BE THERE . HE IS OUR CAPTAIN COOL AND WE SHOULD NOT ONLY SUPPORT HIM DURING GOOD TIMES BUT ALSO WHEN HE FIGHTING HARD TO GET THINGS ON TRACK .

  • Aditya Goel on August 10, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    What Dhoni did is something that will take strength of character (something that neither the England coach nor the captain seem to have, not even remotely).Bell was so disoriented as to walk off with the ball not being dead completely, and Straussy and Flower expect us to pay for their mistakes or were they so worried as to what might happen if Bell got out.'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' MY FOOT. Pretty sure that Straussy would not have done it even if it meant saving the game from going down in the dumps.And stopping Panesar practicing with Sachin, who stoops so down as to do that, Straussy and Flower do!!! Swann is no better than Panesar by the way, and Straussy and Flower will do well to understand the simple mathematics of cricket that the stats are not in their favour and well from a mediocre captain and a mediocre coach(who by the way was a very very mediocre player too) nothing more could be expected.

  • sunny on August 8, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    This is pathetic on part of journalism to think something like that and create a blog. To me it shows more about the authors thinking, intent and may be way of life rather than about the incidence itself. Lot of things are as per your thinking and interpretation. It reflects who you are and how you take things in life. There is no right or wrong way, just depends how you want to see - glass half full or half empty.

    Just listening to Doni and why he decided to do so ("WE DID WANT WE THOUGHT WAS RIGHT") speaks for itself. How many people can think and act outside the norms and rule books and say THIS IS WHAT I FEEL IS RIGHT TO ME.

    Again, I choose to see the glass half full and see a great act rather than thinking negatively.

    I agree with Tony, this is shameless journalism. Calling someone a sucker is pathetic.

  • tony on August 8, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    2 -3 days ago I put my comment that is against most of them commenting and showing the act that Dhoni did, which he would have not done initially to avoild all the stories, BUT THAT COMMENTS ARE NOT SHOWN HERE AS IT IS NOT FAVOURING INDIA..THIS IS THE BLOODY STANDARD OF INDIAN SUCKERS, THEY ONLY WANT ALWAYS TO WIN AND SAY THEY ARE THE GREATE BUGGERS FOR EVERYTHING...That is why a comment that tals about true incident happend not published by the so called editors/reports. shamless jounalism, as mentioned by Venkat above in this comment..too sensational than factual...bullish indian

  • Anonymous on August 8, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Dhoni was right to call Ian Bell back as taking any other action would not be right. I think that he has left a good example for all the cricketers.

  • lafologist on August 7, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    ....."sucker"......language...dude...you teach philosophy.....there is no. philosophy here...anybody else could have quoted aristole.......the only truth ..if there is any Ian Bell would know and probably would tell when he decides to write a book after retiring..till then ....we all can make prejudices...mine says he is a smart jhony walker arse...knew he would never make it back so keep walking....and for Dhoni...JST BE STRONG SKIP...BAD TIME IS QUITE SIMILAR TO GOOD TIME.....IT CHANGES....

  • Dave Coventry on August 7, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Good piece of writing.

    Yes, do not expect England to reciprocate as they know the value of winning.

  • Rohit kadam on August 7, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Is Dhoni above umpires. Answer is no.

    Whether umpires consulted third umpire who gave decision with the evidence available on replays. Answer is yes.

    Is there any rule giving captain right to over rule decision of umpire. Answer is no.

    How did umpires allow this to happen.

    I think Than is big sucker not only to take the decision of bell, but also to make decision for playing harbhajan who is out of form, sand for not playing amit mishra when history and stats shows that england Batman struggles against quality leg spin.

    Dhoni isbig sucker as he is not leading properly, his poor form with bat and glows add fuel to the fire.

    And now he has called RP Singh whi is know to be friend amd favourite if Dhoni, when there was Arvind and Aaron.

  • Shankar on August 7, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    If we replay the video we could see that Morgan was asking Ian bell to stop at the strikers end as he was not ready for the run, The start of Ian bell was clearly for the forth run in every aspect, even Bell thought about getting back as he turned back and saw there is no options but to walk hoping it is a four. Well when things turned out to go against Ian Bell he had no option but to argue he was walking for the tea break. Well I am not sure why no one pointed out Morgans getsure on the otherside. Any way Dhoni had to do something to avoid much more controversies and had to withdraw the appeal.But I should say Bell was never innocent in this case. Atleast in my perception.

  • tony on August 6, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    it is a good point that writer has made looking at the angle of indian side.eventhough technically he is out; if anybody comments here have seen the incident carefully, it is very clear that Ian Bell was not attempting to go for a run,very clearly he marked the third run and just started walk back to his other mate to join with him and leave for tea, Dhoni was clearly watching that Ian was marking thr crease once he completed the 3rd run, having looked so , he deliberately passed the ball to the man at the wicket to off the baills, this is the bad act having knwon veryy well, Dhoni did this cheap this to get a wicket that they badly needed,If Dhoni is a showing a sportmship or a true sportman, he should have not done this bad act, recalling the batsmen after such a bad intentional act, is no way great thing done by Dhoni.may be patriotic indian wont agree, but this is the truth... fact...

  • john Powell on August 6, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    In play situations are one thing. But the main consideration here is that Bell would not have been run out if he believed the ball was still in play. So would not have left the field. Reason dictates that Bell had played a wonderful innings and that he believed that it was tea.

    The fieldsman lethargically returned the ball from the boundary.In Bells mind it was all over.

    May as well stop playing cricket if we run people out in that manner. Theres a big difference in sportsmanship while actually playing the ball. But Dhoni was right to call Bell back , any other action would have been disgraceful.

  • AS on August 5, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    there was no need for DHONI to call Ian back. it was his fault to get off the ground. if it would have been against rules then the umpires would not have called for a review. this proves it all that it was legally out.

    atleast strauss doesn't deserve to be in any authority of requesting an opponent team's captain to revert back the appeal. when it is said that umpires decision is final then it is FINAL. there was no need to call the batsman back to play again for which INDIA paid a lot.

  • M SURELIA on August 4, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    1st CONGRATULATION TO ENGLAND....BELL WAS OUT AS PER LAW....WHY FLOWER & STRAUSS CREATED A CONTROVERSY BY BEGGING THE INDIANS FOR WITHDRAWING THE APPEAL....THE RESULT OF THE MATCH OR IMAGINATIVE HYPOTHESIS ABOUT TENDULKAR OR THE EXCUSE ABOUT THE SPORTSMANSHIP SPIRIT IS NOT AT ALL RELATED TO THE LAWFUL OUT OF BELL.... NOR DOES THESE JUSTIFY THE UNLAWFUL BEHAVIOR OF FLOWER & STRAUSS ...FLOWER IS TRYING TO BE TOO SMART FOR HIS STATURE , HE CAN VERIFY HOW TENDULKAR & THE INDIAN TEAM MEEKLY ACCEPTED THE UMPIRE'S DECISION WHEN SHOAIB AKHTAR BLOCKED HIM RESULTING IN HIS RUN OUT AT EDEN GARDENS.....NO NEED FOR INDULGING IN SPECULATION........DHONI WITHDRAWING APPEAL WAS SHEER TIMIDITY..

  • M.R.Sampath on August 3, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    The high profile analysis of the wisdom of Dhoni's decision to rescind his claim certainly makes an interesting reading. In every instance of recalling a batsman is only after the Umpire has given him out. It is in the spirit of the game that the opposing team recalled when they genuinely felt that there was an element of unfairness. It may be that the fielding team realized that a catch was not taken clean or an inside edge to the bat was given as lbw etc etc. vice versa; instances of batsman straying off the crease without intention also merit 'spirit of the game' ethics. Bell by any stretch of imagination would not have wandered off the crease had he not believed that the Umpire had called the session closed; Therefore, this situation surely qualifies for the 'spirit of the game' gesture. It is the refined culture that directs one to be generous independent of reciprocity considerations. To say Dhoni was ‘gypped and royally’ by the opposite captain and coach is uncharitable.

  • Yash on August 3, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Well written ! Hats off ! \m/

  • dharma on August 3, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Dhone is not so stupid to be a sucker. In fact he is a very smart captain who knows how to manage limited resources and turn situations to his advantange. In this situation, he did something which would not only divert the attention from the pathetic performance of the indians in the field, but also something that he knew would earn him some praise.

  • Sam on August 3, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    Posted by: David at August 1, 2011 6:22 AM Law 23.1(b) The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the umpire at the bowler's end that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play. Kumar, Bell and Morgan's behaviour clearly showed that they did not regard the ball as in play. Open and shut.

    REPLY posted by Sam: REPLY: TWO EMPIRES AND THIRD EMPIRE GAVE THE DUMB BATSMAN OUT --- OPEN AND SHUT

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 3, 2011, 2:13 GMT

    This is a PCB conspiracy to defraud something or other. I don't know what exactly, because the whole situation is slightly confusing and farcical even now 3 days later. But something is getting defrauded. And Ijaz Butt is to blame.

  • Vasanth on August 3, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Thank you for highlighting that generosity is of little significance when the giver has too much or has nothing to lose (have I got that right?). Dhoni was in the latter category so he was no sucker- his gesture was meaningless in the context of the match. But it could have been a tactic to get a good name out of a very bad match, in which case we are the suckers!

  • Amit Patney on August 2, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    Dhoni was right in appealing for the run out as it is within the rules of the game...its upto the umpires to turn that decision down just like any other appeal. I would have liked it if Dhoni took the decision to withdraw the appeal on his own and not at the behest of the English team...almost seems like he was caught in a tough position when approached as he needed to handle it with diplomacy. Furthermore, i do think there were other considerations in his decision to withdraw......something he implied in the post match conference as well.

    England on the other hand were smart and showed it by approaching him to withdraw the appeal as it wasn't something that you see on a cricket pitch everyday. There was a chance Dhoni might withdraw the appeal if approached properly and so it was worth a shot.

    I think both sides did the right thing in the end.

  • Haroon Butt on August 2, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    If Dhoni has had a team meeting, and the unanimous decision of the Indian team was that the player should be called back, who the hell are you to say otherwise?! The whole team has years of international experience between them. They felt it didn't sit well with them on an individual, or collective level. If the team thought it was the right thing to do, then surely that is the end of the debate. Their decision was vindicated by a standing ovation by a capacity crowd, and has prevented the series from turning ugly. Regardless, that decision in retrospect did not cost India anything, but fostered good will between the teams. Sometimes it takes one act of greatness to change the way the world behaves.

  • ramesh on August 2, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    I completely agree with this article and Team India or Dhoni or who ever behind that decision acted like no brainers.It was Bell's mistake and he knows it and the whole world knows it and I wonder why did Team India allow to bat him again. There is nothing called Spirit of Cricket and Cricket is played to win and if Team India is not doing that then they should be sacked from Team. The whole country watches Team India with a hope that they win and not to see whether they are playing with in spirit of game or not and who cares that and as long as you win and play fair and with in rules. Team India ditched all viewers who were hoping that they will win.

  • mani on August 2, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    forget about Dhoni... I'm perplexed under what grounds did Strauss & Flower request India to reinstate Bell? This is the biggest question nobody seem to be asking.

  • Rajeev on August 2, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    Yes, Dhoni and the Indian team was a real sucker here. I am yet to see Strauss show any generosity to the opposition players whether it is allowing a runner or when disputed catches occur. Strauss and Flower asking India to withdraw the appeal was quite ridiculous but a master stroke on their part. It just shows that they know what they need to do to win a match and Dhoni does not.

  • Kinshuk Kumar on August 2, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    it's amazing hw ppl give d weakest arguements fr wht "might" otherwise b a vry valid contention.. fr instance i blv dhoni mad a mistake bt it isn't because, the english wouldn't reciprocate or that harbhajan wasn't recalled, etc....

    the simple fact is tht bell had no business being out of the crease without ensuring tht the ball ws dead.. he had probably started out with the intention of running a fourth run (debatable but i think tht ws the case) so he should hv gone nd grounded his bat before heading back to the pavillion.. then there r people saying tht he had no intention of running.so it was againt the "spirit" of the game.. well, laxman too had no intention of running when he ws given out in west indies..bt the fact remained that his foot wasn't grounded and so he ws out.. now let's assume tht game was being pkayed in india... the indian crowd started booing the west indies. the indian board or players asked them to withdraw their appeal. wonder wht wud hv been said abt us...

  • Ravi Bajwe on August 2, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Spirit of the GAME. English spirit was BOO..... and Standing ovation very next minute. Gower checking VVS L out nearly 20times in his studio, and not talk of Harbajan's LBW decesion by the umpire. LBW decesions not in favour of Home Team. Is Broad proud of the Hatrick. Can Bell show his face knowing what they did to the NZ side. Dhoni, that's what I'll call sports man ship of the Indians. God Bless

  • sureshm on August 2, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    @SharjilBaig: Your silly defense of Bell's statement only makes him look worse. It shows him to be a person who changes his statement according to circumstances; in effect, a hypocrite. He looks better if we take his statement at face value: that he was indeed out technically but that he was not attempting a run and had honestly thought that the ball was dead. And as for seeing the video, I saw Asad Rauf handing the jumper to Ishant *after* the bails were taken off by Mukund.

    Man, you are entitled to your India bashing, a favourite pastime with many of your countrymen, just the opposite is a favourite with many of mine. But don't try to defend it as anything else. I doubt there is anything Indians can do which will find favour with you. Now begone.

    @CJH: Good point. Also the point that Dravid made in his press briefing: that they would not have liked it if one of them had got out under the same circumstances. That is why the unanimous decision to recall Bell.

  • newMachine on August 2, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    In the spirit of the game Bell should not come back on the field.

  • SharjilBaig on August 2, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    To sureshm.....yes, benefit of the doubt to those who were CLEARLY not trying to manipulate the situation. Praveen Kumar, the umpire, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan all made honest mistakes. Dhoni and Mukund took advantage with the intent of sneaking a wicket. Let us be clear: it is NOT a case of the ball was alive then a run-out occurred before the ball was dead, rather the ball was alive then dead in the eyes of the batsmen, the umpires and AT LEAST Kumar and Yuvraj, then magically alive again as Dhoni and Mukund sneaked in a run-out prior to Rauf's calling tea. That is plain for anyone to see. Watch the footage. Call a spade a spade. As for Bell "admitting" it was out, that was mere reciprocation of a perceived gentlemanly gesture by Dhoni. Bell should have stuck to his guns and called it cheating or at least a manipulation of the delay in Rauf saying the word "over". And if all of that is Bharat-bashing in your book, then so be it.

  • Alan Harrison on August 2, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Abuse from Ammar notwithstanding, I think a reasonable case can indeed be made for suggesting that Dhoni's generosity was not merited by England. In saying this I'm not concerned so much by what England have or have not done in this series, but by Bell's reputation as a non-walker, exemplified in the last Ashes series. I write as an Englishman, and this point has also been made by one of England's greatest ever test cricketer's, Ian Botham.

  • RIP "Spirit of the Game" on August 2, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    @James, I think you've summed it up well. I say this not cause I'm an Indian. But cause its all part of the game. This is supposed to be professional cricket isn't it? Baby Bell has dug his head in the ground, trying to pretend no one saw him take off for the 4th run. This whole saga sounds so school boyish. I was disappointed with Strauss going upto to Dhoni, and would have been equally disappointed no matter who the captain would have been. You are right, it may have been a diplomatic call on Dhoni's part, more than anything else. England is playing brilliant cricket. India has the potential to. The series has been a good one so far. But, alas, the "spirit of the game" has taken a complete battering.

  • CJH on August 2, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    I wonder if all the Indian fans would feel the same had it been Tendulkar in Bell's position. I think not.

  • SridharV on August 2, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    @ Ammar Zaheer "Imran Khan, man of principle" ??? What have you been smoking and for how long ? Get a grip man !

  • demmo on August 2, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Bell seemed to only move after seeing umpire handing sweater to bowler, an indication that the ball is dead. Isn't the laws clear on this matter? Shouldn't match referee then not intervene seeing how poorly the umpires handled the situation? What if it were not a break of sorts, but only a change of over? How come only Bell saw the sweater exchange...what of the bowler? Bell wanted the break and interpreted the umpire's (sweater)gesture. Probably, Dhoni reconsidered, after hearing from his bowler.Really believe after making a report, Strauss should allow the umpires to address the situation...after all, they caused it! Does sledging mean more to a bowler than a batsman? Who do you think makes more mistakes after being heckled? Bowlers tend to resort to sledging cause they noticed the batsman has gotten on top of his bowling.It gave me plenty joy to rebut bowlers sledging...allowed me to get him off line and whack him all over the park...Remember McGrath vs Sarwan...

  • suresh on August 2, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    @Ammar Zaheer: Samir is only saying is that the incident involving Srikkanth and Emburey is similar to the Bell incident. In both cases, the batsman left the crease while the ball was still live. In both cases, the batsman was not attempting to take a run. If Srikkanth deserved what he got, then by the same token, so did Bell. But if you argue that it was unsporting of the Indians to run out Bell, then you will have to accept that Emburey was unsporting to run out Srikkanth. You cannot support one and not the other.

    I would tend to agree with Samir that if one wants to bring in sportsmanship, then it cannot be applied selectively. Many Indians, rightly or wrongly, feel that this is the case. I also suspect that there is an element of cultural difference in the discussion. For many Indians, abusing the batsman and otherwise distracting him *is* unsporting behaviour. (Abuses are not taken lightly.) Judging by the comments here, many Englishmen (and Australians...) disagree.

  • Raj on August 2, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    I just want to say one thing that like in past how this English foxes capture India, in the same way they win the Test Match. Its not their fault that they are very clever but it's our that we are fools(emotionally).

  • KSR on August 2, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    If Bell was really out, I don't understand how it could have been in anyone's powers to allow him to play again, whether or not MSD withdrew his appeal. Everyone seems to have goofed up, including the umpires.

  • aalkool on August 2, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    @PH- That is precisely my point. If Strauss deemed Smith not to be match-fit, then in this case Bell clearly forgot about the rules of the very game he has played at an international level for seven years. Are you suggesting that knowing the rules has nothing to do with preparation? Also, if you think that Law 23 is applicable then you are forgetting Law 19. There was obviously some element of doubt in the umpire's mind that the ball had ceased to be in play. Otherwise, quite simply, the umpire would have had to signal a four. Did the umpire do that? No! So your suggestion that the umpire interpreted the situation incorrectly is inaccurate in itself. It discounts the fact that the umpire may well have wanted to check with the TV umpire before signalling a boundary. Unlike, Bell who assumed it was a boundary and caused this needless controversy due to his stupidity, the umpire deserves credit for not jumping to conclusions.

  • Praveen on August 2, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    Dhoni's initial intent was not to overturn the decision. What happened in the team meeting and what was running through players' mind that caused them to change their decision is hard to fathom. The idea that Dhoni chickened out or is a Sucker is laughable. We are talking about Dhoni here...Indian team just had a bad first half of England tour...As far as the decision to get Ian Bell back, It is stuff for the papers, media. Indian team would just go on, whether or not their actions are going to get reciprocated....

  • Sudhir on August 2, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    I saw some good / lucky fielding, presence of mind of the fielding captain and a run out.

    Or maybe Dhoni had thrown in the towel already and thought a good gesture may help. If Bell had read Jeffery Archer he would have been cleanly runout in the next over after tea..

  • sureshm on August 2, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @dunc: Please read the comments. Asad Rauf handed the jumper to Ishant after the stumps were broken. Some commentators are talking about Praveen Kumar's body language. I think Rahul Dravid addressed this question by saying that it was perfectly up to the fielder how long he took to retrieve the ball. If Bell chose to infer something from PK's body language without looking at the umpire, then that is surely Bell's fault.

    It is remarkable how many commentators try to argue that Bell was not out when even he accepts that technically he was out. Why then the attempt to dispute this?

    Ultimately the noise made by us armchair experts is just that: noise. The people who had to make this decision are Dhoni and his team. They chose to recall Bell. Let us respect that and leave it at that.

  • Anonymous on August 2, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Dhoni should not have broken the bails in the 1st place. He knew that it was tea batmens were walking off,That is the Spirit of the game... he was the first to infringe on the Spirit of the game...

  • sureshm on August 2, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    @SharjilBaig: Regarding your "Don't get me wrong, I am not simply Bharat-bashing here." -- Ha, Ha, someone may believe you. God, you're ridiculous: All benefit of doubt to Bell, to Asad Rauf, but none to the Indians. Oh yes, they *must* be malicious. And what did you say -- you're not simply Bharat-bashing? Right, of course. We believe you.

  • Harold Shockness on August 2, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    Why did Strauss not recall Harbajan in the spirit of the game also? My difficulty with England is they love to complain when the shoe is on the other foot. When West Indies had (4)fast bowlers we were killing the game we bowled too much short pitch deliveries now they are handing it out to the Indians all is fair. There must be some form of balance and reciprocity. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for Bell he should know the laws of the game if he is playing test cricket and England needs to take and accept the decision of the umpires how often has Stuart Broad been slapped on the wrist for major offenses and others suffer .For example Praveen Kumar's incident . What was so different about what the England captain and coach did ? Is that not tantamount to questioning the umpires judgement also? Listen to Bell"s excuse about the call of over which was subsequently disproved.

  • David K on August 2, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    There is something wrong here in a captain and his team's coach going to the opposition team and asking it to reconsider its appeal. Both knew that, under the laws of the game, Bell was given out by the umpire with justification. Leave it at that, and if the opposition team decides to withdraw its appeal, then be grateful. Spirit of the game means, amongst other things but probably most of all, abiding by the umpire's decision.

  • dunc on August 2, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    At game end Dhoni claimed that upholding the S of the G was not the reason for the decision. He and the team did not feel comfortable with what had happened. I think he used the words " a bitter taste". For that he should be applauded. Collingwood regretted the decision he took with the New Zealander. I dont think MS will. If he is losing sleep it should be because of the team performance and his own not the decision he took. Just to add. The fielder thought it was dead, the ump handed over a jumper to the bowler he thought it was dead. It is not unreasonable for Bell to think the ball was dead. Could you the imagine the uproar in India if tendulka had been given out in this way?

  • rishi MEHTA on August 2, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    THE INDIANS HAD TAKEN IT AS IT WAS TEA, EXCEPT MAYBE DHONI AND MUKUND, SO NO POINT IN MAKING A BIG HERO OUT OF DHONI. EVEN THE FIELDER (YUVI) HAD GONE AND PICKED UP THE HELMET FROM BEHIND THE KEEPER AND WALKING OFF WHEN THE BAILS WERE TAKEN OFF AND WAS CASUALLY WALKING OFF. DOES A FIELDER PICK UP A HELMET DURING PLAY, WHAT HAS THE RULE BOOK TO SAY ON THAT.

  • Mark on August 2, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Hhmmm, the axe grinding becomes clear when you employ phrases like "everyone in the fair land of spirit of the game wants the DRS apparently" ... well, yes, we'd like a game where decisions are clear and correct (or, at least, as correct as possible). Is this wrong? You seem to suggest so.

    Your article hints at context yet you give no context from Bell's perspective - he thought he heard "over" called, the umpire was handing over a pullover to the bowler, half the fielding team were walking off. Is a batsman expected to wait for the fielding team to enter the pavillion before quitting the wicket? No, that would be ridiculous..

  • Ross on August 2, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    I'm not going to condemn this article, although it does have it's flaws. I'm just going to say that I don't agree with it - Dhoni was not a sucker, he was a gentleman. I believe that Bell was not going for a fourth run, and that he truly thought it was time for tea. An oversight on his behalf - and I agree that as an international cricketer he should know better and that there is no excuse. But I also believe that a Test match is a battle between bat and ball, and that should be the crux if the game. The fact of the matter is, the bat, Bell's bat, was winning. And if the Indian team had resorted to running him out like this, then I think that that would not be in the spirit on the game. It's sport for gods sakes. A competition between athletes. Not who has pored over the rules long enough to find tricky little loopholes. So a thank you to Dhoni. And kudos to the crowd for applauding the Indian team.

  • molak on August 2, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    the sucker but won the world cup...and for that he did not need to resort to any of your tactics. What matters in the game is the game not the toppings.

  • Oliver Webber on August 2, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    I don't agree that Dhoni was a sucker. Bell may have been naive, even stupid, not to check - but both batsmen clearly thought the ball was no longer in play. The fielder had half-heartedly retrieved the ball and eventually thrown it in - his body language certainly suggested he had thought it was 4. So Bell's action in starting to walk off was entirely understandable. Dhoni and Dravid (also a true gentleman) put it well when they said that the Indian side felt uncomfortable with the dismissal, and wouldn't have been happy if it had happened the other way around. I don't think sledging is in the same category, and therefore it's not relevant to the argument about the spirit of cricket.

  • Rajan Sahay on August 2, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    The worst aspect of this debacle was that Strauss and Flower actually went to the dressing room to have the decision reversed. Knowing the immense pressure already on the Indian from a partisan home crowd this smacks of bullying. The rules are the rules - there is no issues of "Spirit of Cricket" - where do we draw the line: unlucky run out, unfortunate handling of ball...what about nicking a ball and not walking or catching a bounced ball and not admitting - should all these be followed by a visit to the opposition dressing room?

    If there was any vision here at all what would have happened is that Dhoni inviting Bell back and the English team saying thank you but out is out: no rancour and the laws of cricket which is what I hold dear maintained.

  • Santosh John Samuel on August 2, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Dhoni did right by recalling Bell. The wicket ought to have been earned the proper way – and not off a lawful ambush. Our players were not suckers on this count; they were suckers for letting the Eng tail get away in the first innings, and for their own batting collapse. As for Walsh, he did the right thing – the non-Mankad did not lose WI the match, their below par score did. Completely agree with your comment about the lack of understanding about what constitutes fairness, with players and administration equally guilty. Strauss’s unhappiness over Panesar helping out SRT, the non-scheduling of practice matches for the Indians (far from wishing for a weak Indian side, the English board should have done all that it could to ensure a competitive series), appealing for catches that are not, blind-sided fieldsmen appealing for LBWs, etc. – the spirit of the game gets sullied in various ways. Recalling a batsman who has been lawfully dismissed does nothing to heal this injured spirit.

  • kiran22 on August 2, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Alecxis: hope now u agree cricinfo is not in the payscale of the bcci, but when will u whiteys agree that all humans r equal. u guys jeer indians when they go for the pavilion after bell was clearly out but applaud when it is reversed, shows ur patrioism but clearly the Game "Cricket" invented you as a gentleman game is no more a gentleman game in the english players and public views.

  • Basavaraju on August 2, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    Dhoni wanted only praise and applaud from english mens, since he was already knew that he is going loose the match

  • SharjilBaig on August 2, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    In response to those like Amit who claim that the umpire should not have given Bell out if he felt that the ball was truly dead - this alludes to the umpire's mistake. Asad Rauf delayed in calling the over, by which time the close-in fielders revived what was clearly a dead ball and appealed for the run-out, and then Rauf had no choice but to give it out. The ball was dead in every sense except it had not been called so. So technically speaking yes, I suppose it is out because it had not been called as dead...but this was actually given out as a consequence of some really despicable advantage taking by Dhoni and Mukund. In conclusion, Rauf is perhaps more at fault than people realise for not calling the ball dead but that was a mistake, not maliciousness. What Dhoni and Mukund did was a manipulation of the situation. Don't get me wrong, I am not simply Bharat-bashing here. Harmison did something similar (but worse) to Inzamam in recent years. That too should have been not out.

  • gautam on August 2, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Its a rubbish decision whichever way you take it! A batsman given out (rightly so)is against the 'spirit of the game'? Ridiculous !!! This is not the first time,there have been similar instances in the past too- like Inzi being given out for blocking a throw from Suresh Raina; Steve Waugh,for handling the ball..what was Mr.Spirit doing then?? The otherwise calm Dhoni for once was literally 'playing to the gallery'. Its not a picnic,its a competition at the highest level.

    The booing englishmen must remember that throwing jelly beans and sledging too is against the spirit of the game!

  • Ashwin on August 2, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    The spirit of the game concept within cricket has long been over. Thats why we need camera's hotspots etc etc. Regarding the Bell debacle, I, in principle, do not agree with MSD's decision to withdraw the appeal.

    There was no issue of Bell being treated deliberately unfairly. He lost his concentration, made an assumption and was dismissed within the rules. Nobody tricked.

    The low light of the episode has to the poor piece of sportmanship by Andrew Strauss and Duncan Fletcher. By pleading to Dhoni, they realistically gave him no alternative.

  • ravindu on August 2, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Dhoni did a wrong thing by throwing the ball to Mukund.He Intentionally did that to run out Bell even though he knew that Bell was leaving for tea. The Writer here tries to say the spirit of cricket should not be maintained.It may be right for India but not for other cricketing nations.Dhoni overturned his decision inorder to get away from thee blame.The crickinfo should not publish these sort of idiotic articles partial to a one team. Is it the spirit of crickinfo?

  • Subra on August 2, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Totally agree with you. 'Spirit Of the Game' is the tool used to threaten Dhoni to get the Ransom of 'calling Bell back'

  • PH on August 2, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    The collection of "examples" of unsporting behavior being quoted here (led by the article itself - as an academic I suggest you hide this piece from anyone who may be judging your ability to form and express a cogent argument) are myopic in the extreme, only acting to paint a rather biased picture that India are in some way a victim of a grand conspiracy (!). To say that England would never make a decision in the name of the spirit is to blatantly forget Strauss withdrawing an appeal against Angelo Mathews in Jo'burg. As for the other two examples floating around, I think Strauss acted perfectly correctly in both. A batsman should not be given a runner for cramp, as it is a sign of poor preparation and/or fitness, is not and INJURY picked up during play, and is equivalent to giving a runner because someone is tired. As for allowing Monty to bowl at Sachin - if Swanns hand rules him out of the next game, Monty could well play! Why let the opposition get practice at playing him? Mad

  • Franklin on August 2, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    After drawing praise for the Ian Bell recall, MSD has decided to reverse the following 5 incidents

    1. The six that he hit in the WC final – instead he now wants to hit the ball straight to Murali and make Murali’s swan song a sweet one

    2. The decision to bowl in the Lord’s test – he now wants Rahul Dravid to bowl while he keeps wicket

    3. The decision to ask Zaheer Khan to bowl the over in which Zak got injured – instead he wants Zak to bowl the next over

    4. The decision to go ahead of Bhajji in the batting order – instead he wants to go ahead of Sachin in the batting order

    5. The decision to take rest before the WI one dayers and come back only for the test series – instead he wants to take rest until the England series is over and let Raina lead the Indian team.

  • PH on August 2, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    @Joey: the spirit of the game, I would argue, is almost exclusively in conflict with the laws of the game. The laws are designed to keep our great game great - to make the most interesting and fair contest between bat and ball and to allow the team playing the best cricket to come out on top. However, the lawmakers cannot possibly rule for every decision in such a small book of laws, and situations arise where, by the letter of the law one decision must be made, but the spirit in which the law was written suggests another. A simple example is the batsman picking up the ball to give back to the fielders - this should be out on an appeal, however the law was drafted to stop players interfering with play using their hands, and the spirit of the game interjects and allows the batsman to help the bowling side. That the umpires interject and essentially beg the captains not to appeal in these situations is clear evidence that the spirit CAN and SHOULD overrule the laws

  • PH on August 2, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    @Vattettan: Yes, it was me who quoted Law 23, and I would like to point out that a careful reading will clearly show that I did not "conveniently miss" the word "UMPIRE" in the law. I am aware that the umpire did not think the ball was dead, and hence did not listen to the appeal, and I am suggesting that he incorrectly interpreted the on-field situation - which is fair enough as he does not have the replays to study that we all have since had. Then another comment saying the ball was dead and sweater was handed over to bowler. Please do not waste too much energy fighting the straw man here.

  • Alok on August 2, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Nope. Sorry. You are wrong.

    Here's why.

    1. The Spirit of Cricket is supposed to transcend the laws. It accepts that just as in real life, there are things that may be lawful but not necessarily right. Fair play is essential to cricket and not every angle of it can be encoded into a law. That is why the spirit of cricket trusts the players to follow their conscience in such matters.

    2. Merely because one team does not believe in it or exploits it cynically for its own ends does not mean that the Spirit of Cricket automatically ceases to have any meaning.

    3. It is wrong to appeal for an lbw when everyone's heard the inside edge, but that does not make a subsequent decision to recall a batsman given out in unfortunate circumstances, any less right. Morality is not a zero sum game.

    4. As already pointed out, the fielders (bar one) were walking off, the umpires were walking off and naturally, the batsmen too. It is also necessary to point out that Bell was not going for a run.

  • Muhammad Islam on August 2, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Ammar Zaheer, I totally agree with you.

  • Ravi Achar on August 2, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    I just wonder how everyone here would respond, had Ian Bell goes on to make another century or 50+ post his recall to the field. This is classic case of bending the rule and another way just to disrespect the umpires especially the short fat fellow :) Dhoni just could not take the pressure from the crowd.

  • Aniket on August 2, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Good example of 'Slave Mentality' by MSD

  • Aditya Sirish on August 2, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    I totally agree with you. The Spirit of the Game is a totally overrated concept thanks to the Indian Media. When people agree that the Umpire is the bastion of judgement, underwhelming his authority will be of no good for the game. It's actually quite stupid that Flower and Strauss went over to the Indian Dressing Room and that the Indian Media went gaga over Dhoni's right spirit. The entire episode reeks of Bullshit. Like you rightly pointed out Aristotle, would Dhoni have done the same thing if it had cost him the match and if he had done so, would the Indian media been as supportive. All of us know the answer. But I do not concede with your final line. We act nobly not because we want to be treated the same. We do so because we can not do so.

  • Daraius Ardeshir on August 2, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Samir Chopra is indeed entitled to his opinion, and many will agree with him, that sportsmanship has no role in international sport today. Conversely, many, myself included, believe that Dhoni's gesture displayed what type of cricket India wants to play - and, since for us cricket is truly a religion, by inference what sort of India do we want to be. Dhoni showed his professionalism by initially making the appeal, but then he and his team showed their class as individuals by subsequently withdrawing it, even though not required to. Whether ENG players reciprocate his gesture is totally immaterial. Dhoni's action demonstrated that the India his team, and many of us, want is not one based on pettiness and tit-for-tat mistrust, but one that is 'big enough' to mix professionalism with honesty and honour. Whatever the result on the field, as an average Indian, I am hugely hugely proud of our cricket team and its captain.

  • Supandi Kale on August 2, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Excellent Article and very valid questions. True spirit of the game lies in batsman walking on their own or bowler not sledging the batsman or fielder not claiming a bump catch. Seeking to revert a correct cricketing decision is not sportsmanship, but mere stupidity. We are well aware of western spirit of the game. Let's see how English show their true spirit of the game in next two matches.

  • Anonymous on August 2, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    It is not understood how an umpire can ask fielding captain as to whether he wants to withdraw the appeal....The batsman was out of the crease before the umpire could declare the over to be complete. Dhoni's decision to appeal was right as per law. The umpire's decision to give Bell out was perfect as per law. It is like a Judge asking a complaintant to withdraw his complaint so that the accused is let off... WHAT A JOKE .... Why are the umpires there in the middle ? To uphold the rules of the game or spirit in case rules are flouted ????

  • Vvek on August 2, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Excellent article.By the way why were the England captain and coach begging to Dhoni to withdraw the appeal.Were they afraid of losing?If we remember properly Andrew Strauss was caught behind on almost 2 occasions in the World Cup against India and he did not walk.Where was the spirit of the game then?Dhoni was more interested to win the hearts of people than win the test.Strauss would not have done the same had he been in Dhoni's situation because the English media would have criticized him.

  • NS on August 2, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Alecxis: The fact that I was able to read the comment proves that BCCI has not bought cricinfo. Why are people so sensitive about India's influence on world cricket.

    This has happened several times in international sport - a key case in point is when hockey grounds were allowed to use artificial turf instead of natural grass - this took away the natural inconsistencies of the hockey field and made good dribbling (a core skill of the Indian subcontinent) much less relevant and long passing (a skill more available in the developed/ western world).

    As far as Dhoni's decision is concerned, it was a captain's call and he made that call in consultation with the team. You may think he is a sucker, but this sucker has led India to the World T20 championship, the world cup and the top spot in Test cricket - and has been humble inspite of that.

    So, give him some credit for being brave to stand up for what he believed in and honest to accept that he did not feel right about the appeal.

  • Kurt Francis on August 2, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    INDIA INDIA INDIA... So called world champions, they won the world cup, cause their board couldnt afford to let the IPL go to the dogs.. lol.. Pakistan could easily won that semi's against them.. World Champs can play in any ground, be in LORDS, BRISBANE, or anywhere.. INDIA you guys should get a makeover.. Cricket is not for you guys

  • Kunal on August 2, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    I do completely agree with your statement that yes, invoking the 'spirit' of the game is quite selective. I honestly can't believe that England would've done the same, but hey that's me. But like you said there are many things that occur in the modern game of cricket that could be considered not in the 'spirit' of the game. Sledging like you said is a big one, and only recently did India begin to counter on this, or else before, they just took it. But hey if we want to look at the 'sprit' of the game, lets look at the infamous Ind Aus Sydney test, Aus clearly violated the 'spirit' of the game but were there repurcussions? No. Only that umpire getting fired, the umpire that arguably cost india the game but regardless. In my opinion it was the right decision by Dhoni, showing he is better then these English cricketers with all their boastful words of 'spirit'. But I hope India isn't scrutinized by this,I'm waiting for a game changing out like this happen for India, and England let it go

  • Alecxis on August 2, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Truly crap article. I doubt whether the Cricinfo has also been bought by BCCI or not! The more patriotic articles you can find here than Indian or Hindustan Times. I feel from inside, you have to stop watching cricket or become an Indian fan. Shame... everything in favor of India is getting published here. Probably my comment will not ...

  • joey on August 2, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    All this talk of the spirit of the game. The spirit of the game CANNOT be in conflict with the laws of the game. In the Bell runout case, it was. Bell's runout did not contravene the laws of the game. And he admitted his own naivety. In other words, he made a mistake and it cost him his wicket. (Only it didn't - and the spirit of the game has suffered.)

  • Rajiv G. on August 2, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    Having watched replays numerous times, I completely disagree with writer's statement that "Ian Bell forgot the rules... and he paid for it". In my opinion, it was downright cheating on behalf of Mr. Bell. Mr. Bell knows the rules but he tweaked and abused them. He clearly jogged/ran for the 4th run upto the middle of the pitch, turned around and saw the throw come in, realized it was too late for him to get back, and then "faked" Tea and kept walking towards the non-striker end. Mr. Bell was run out. Simple as that.

    But Indians were jeered and treated like they were cheaters. A clear case of blame the victim there.

  • Aussie on August 2, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Dhoni did the wrong thing, but for the right reason. Had he not conceded, the English press would have been all over him, and the debate about the spirit of cricket (however defined or interpreted)would have focussed on his integrity. On reflection, perhaps Bell, Strauss and Flower should've accepted their folly and stayed silent.

  • Gyan on August 2, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    I think Indian Captain just followed the tradition of "not returning a beggar from the doorsteps". And I know one thing for sure, he won't have knocked on England's door in similar sort of situation. I don't think "spirit of cricket" was anywhere involved in here. It was a simple case of runout.

  • manny dave on August 2, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    dhoni is not a sucker, his generosity and sportmanship gratituded beggers strauss and flower.

    When England talk about sportmanship, so where was their sportmanship when there hitting balls to wounded yuvraj.

  • Ronnie on August 2, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    I totally agree with this well thought out and well constructed article. We always know when things please us and how to use the situation for grandstanding. Even the ICC has join the band wagon of Spirit of the game. Bell knew he was out, just look how he was eager to sprint off, look how he touch Morgan twice and sprint away. I am happy for a English victory and I do like India too, But bell and England use the spirit of the game to cheat his way to 150 which was his gold.

  • Sanjay on August 1, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    What an arrogant and pompous article. Written with unbelievable levels of cynicism and ignorance. How you can compare sledging and claiming dubious catches with the farce that occurred just before tea is completely beyond me. I suggest Mr Chopra that you follow your obvious love for Philosophy, to the detriment of your 'career' in sports journalism. Your article is not just wrong, it borders on the offensive, and your arguments are flimsy at best. So according to you the spirit of cricket is basically irrelevant today is it? In your world cricketers behave like their spoiled nancy-boy footballing counterparts, and 2, 3, 4 and 5 wrongs would make a right?! Dhoni is quite clearly a bigger man than you, and he did what he clearly believed to be right. It doesn't matter what England, or any other team did or didn't do. Dhoni has gone up massively in my estimation, and India and the cricketing world should back him and others like him in the future-or the game, as we know it is doomed.

  • Sunil on August 1, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    Bell was not trying to take a single and Kumar/Rauf misled him. Dhoni did the correct thing because as Ganguly pointed out it would have opened a can of worms between the teams for the rest of the tour. Dhoni is no hero he did not withdraw the appeal whilst on the field and what everyone forgets is that if it was not the tea break Bell would have been in the scorebook as run out. The onfield umpires are like lambs these days, they should have given not out as the crux of the matter is that Bell was not attempting a run and even Azar Rauf was handing the bowlers sweater over to the bowler which to all viewers was signalling the end of the over, the umpires should keep the sweaters till they call over and not hand it over to the bowler before calling over. I think the umpires in this match were awful and India got what they deserve on LBW decisions because it is their call in not wanting the DRS in place.... suffer in silence Haribijan

  • superfuzz on August 1, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    What exactly is the point of this article?

  • JackieL on August 1, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    What kind of spirit is this article written in? You are ignoring everything that has been said by the Indian camp on the matter. Dhoni was not bullied by Flower and Strauss so your case falls. Dravid said quite clearly that the Indian players were not happy with the decision and that discussions to change the appeal were already underway. The players were unanimous that they wanted Bell reinstated. Are they all wrong? They had looked at TV replays and that had convinced them to do something. None of them would have wanted to be given out that way.

    Isn't that clear enough? The Dravid interview is on various sites including the ECB website. At the award ceremony today Dhoni repeated that the team had felt it was the right thing to do

    If there hadn't been a Tea interval Bell would have been at his crease waiting for the next over. He tapped in for three runs and then waited. Everyone began packing up. You can see the umpire offer the jersey to the bowler. Bell and Morgan walked off.

  • river on August 1, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    Bell was goofball for what he did, but As another disappointed Indian, We must all agree that the game was already over before the incident, A million players trying to make it into the Indian team and our model squad comes under cooked for the series of the year. Now back to the matter in hand, Had M.S not made that call, It would mean any victory we could have over the next 2 matches will be marred by an incident that left no barring the match itself. Besides it is evident that a lot of jealousy/hatred is directed towards our team and most of these attacks can only be answered by the players on the field. Move on India, We always have.

  • michael gooding on August 1, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    After Bells admissions, he should have accepted that he was out and not come back out to bat after the decision was reversed. A beautiful test match innings but I lost interest after he returned to the crease. It was not the same again. The law should have stood, he was out. TALK TO WEST INDIANS ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME ESPECIALLY IN RESPECT OF BRIAN CHARLES LARA. This will happen again for sure, then what? Dhoni failed miserably in this test. He failed his country, his team, and supporters. He should not have questioned his decision. He did nothing wrong. His team was completely deflated and that was obvious. Here's hoping India can overcome this.

  • Granty on August 1, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Reading a lot of these comments, I feel sorry for you being so bitter.

    MSD and the rest are to be appplauded. This was obviously an error by Bell, but an honest one. I liked Dhoni before and I like him more now. Gamesmanship has long taken over sportsmanship as the dominant force and I for one would like it to swing back the other way.

    The whiners and haters can go play with the Aussies.

  • SB on August 1, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    1- India appeal for run-out: RIGHT decision 2- Dhoni withdraws appeal: WRONG decision, but shrewd and statesman-like gesture. Good for the bigger picture. 3- Bell admits his mistake: GOOD gesture decision Thanks to Ian Bell admitting his fault, it became a right decision in the end. Readers need to understand that a "gesture" and "decision" are not one and the same.

  • Vikrant Bapat on August 1, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Nice article. Time is the only answer to the bunch of questions asked at the end of the article.

    It was a really brave decision by Dhoni & Team India. It was a decision by a set of honest people (who are always at the recieving end) who did not worry about and are not expecting to be reciprocated.

    But spirit of the game? Bu11sh!t !!!!!!!

    And look who is talking about the "spirit of the game"????? 1. Andrew Strauss - England captain declined a request for a runner to Graeme Smith in September 2009. 2. Andy Flower - England coach banned Panesar to stop practising with Sachin. 3. Ian Bell - England player in question was involved in the run-out of New Zealand's Grant Elliott who collided with Sidebottom could not make his ground.

    If, after Team India's decision, Bell would have accepted that he erred, accepted the third umpires decision and stayed back. That, to me, would have been the REAL SPIRIT OF THE GAME.

  • Django on August 1, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    What if this had happened to Tendulker in India? I know its hard to swallow but India should be grateful that someone talked some sense into Dhoni. If he had not have recalled Bell India would have still been smashed but rightly or wrongly you would also be known as cynical bullies. At least you dont have the media chasing you.

  • CHAND on August 1, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    tHIS WAS A NO BRAINER. WIN WIN SITUATION REALLY! mADE NO DIFFERENCE TO RESULT AND COME UP SMELLING OF ROSES.

  • Jonah on August 1, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    I was going to say something but Markk said it all.

    Bell was out, simples.

  • mansoor on August 1, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    I block the BALL, " I am OUT"! I jump in the AIR, " I am out". Where did the Spirit of the game evaporate that day?? Dhoni was CONNED by Strauss & Co. H

  • James May on August 1, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    I think it's up to everyone to make their own decision but I would like to just clear up some common misconceptions mentioned in the above posts:

    1. The bowlers jumper was not handed back until the bails had been taken off. 2. Both batsmen didn't think the game was over Morgan was telling Bell to get back into his crease. 3. Kumar never signalled a 4 as he didn't actually know where the ball had gone. When flicking it back it hit his leg and he may have thought it went over the boundary, but once he saw where the ball was he threw it back and gestured that he wasn't sure whether or not it touched the rope. 4. Bell was very clever as he saw the fielder get back up and throw back, turned and looked back at Dhoni and realised he wouldn't make it so carried on walking to the pavillion and conning everyone (very clever in my opinion, but again you be the judge).

  • Markk on August 1, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    1) Ian Bell was out. 2) English skipper and coach had no business going to Indian dressing room seeking reversal from MSD. This was against the spirit of the game. 3) Dhoni's decision was incorrect as Bell was correctly given out. He had no business reversing his appeal. This was against the spirit of the game. 4) Umpires had no business reversing a correct decision. This was against the spirit of the game. 5) People who think MSD made a right choice and has shown spirit of the game are fools. The spirit of the game would mean that Bell was out and should not have been called back. 6) The media commending both the teams are idiots. English team suckered Indians, English fans pressured Indians, and Indians made a stupid decision and are now under added pressure of looking like stupids.

    Thats all. The rest is bumkum.

  • sunil on August 1, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Viswanath once recalled Bob Taylor in the golden jubilee match (1979-80 )and India lost.Dhoni recalling Bell didn't have any effect on this test. But it was his blunders that cost India both the tests. First with the team selection. Everybody knows Bhaji days are over and still he is being carried. May be he was unfit, but that mocking unfitness will surely earn him a place in the third test. Second the review system. If you don't want, stick with it,instead went for it with conditions.It is useful only for the LBWS and India dosn't want that for the LBWS.Third his keeping and batting. What a shot to give Broad his hat trick and England the match. Not to mention his captaincy, stupid field placing and bowling changes.

  • Amit on August 1, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Is 'Spirit of the Game' only for indian players and not for others. What happened to the Gentleman named Ian Bell.He should have shown some MANNERS,this what the call in England. He should have waited for the empire to say that it was tea time, instead of jogging on the ground and once he was given out, he should have stayed in the dressing room, as he knew it was his mistake for which he has payed the price.I ask only one question. What would have England done if it was Sachin or Dravid or Laxman? We all know the answer to this question is what dhoni did before the tea and not after the tea. It's the rules that make the cricket not the some humping and bumping player on the pitch.

  • Jay Nair on August 1, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    This is not exactly a sucker moment for Dhoni. Dhoni wanted to get the maximum out of an almost lost match in the form of goodwill. It is totally a different matter whether the English will repay the goodwill or not. No damage done at the end of the game as England was sitting pretty throughout. He would not have done this if the game was petty tight for India. He acted like a businessman.

  • Arun Kumbhat on August 1, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    At least we have something to hold our heads high in a eminently forgettable test from an Indian perspective. That is Champion like behavior. We can choose the kind of Champions we wish to be. Now snatch back your rightful place boys.

  • Ahsan on August 1, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    no wayz wat he did was rite thing b'cuz even he knwz tht his intention was not to take 4th run! but if we leave dis a side a see bell was out! b'cuz untill we settle we can be out! but! having topic lik dis is useless from my point of view ! wat he did was rite and india tried der best but as old saying goes best man wins here it was best team wins soo it was englands day! they were better from every point of view! but i hav faith in indian team they will figth bak but here england is with GREAT! rampage!

  • Kumar on August 1, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    I think team India did the right thing by withdrawing Bell's run out appeal,even though going by the rules it was out.But is that the way a n.1 team should really get a wicket?Now come on,Bell made a mistake but it just does not feel right in the spirit of the game like Dravid said. None of the Indian players actually felt right about it.And rightly so.Who cares about what other teams and captains would have done.The Indian team made the right move in the spirit of the game which is valid in any sport.And did it make a big difference to the result?No,Bell added just a few more runs to the total and in the end it did not make any difference to the outcome of the game.India has been thoroughly outplayed and walloped in every aspect,this time also psychologically.I don't think Shewag's or Zaheer's return for the next match would make any difference.Come on India,you have shown how to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.Now,show us the opposite or else it's going to be a 4-0 whitewash

  • rohitweedy on August 1, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Mr chopra it seems like you want to blame india loss to this incident. Stop fooling around. As far as i get you are just a blogger nd a reporter so stop questioning MSD's decision. So keep it that way. U cant compare banter to spirit of game. It seems that you are just poisoning the website by dividing fans for your blue. I think its you who sucked.

  • Vattettan on August 1, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    I am forced to write this after reading some of the comments here, which obviously should be from English supporters. Hope we both tare watching/watched the same video of run out. I read one where the law is stated. The person who wrote that comment conveniently "missed" to read the first word ("UMPIRE") himself. The umpire obviously did not think the ball was dead otherwise wouldn't even have listened to the appeal. Then another comment saying the ball was dead and sweater was handed over to bowler. Hope we both are watching the same video! I can clearly see the umpire (Asad Rauf, I believe) handing over the sweater to Ishant only after the stumps are broken and appeal to leg umpire. This was a clear mistake from the batsman not even a forced one like Angelo's/Elliot's collision with fielder. This was as great a gesture as the great Walsh did against Pakistan, just as compared by the author here, whereas Strauss didn't even allow a runner to his former fellow countryman Smith!

  • Aj on August 1, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Something tells me that India would never have called back a Pakistani or Australian cricketer. Just a thought

  • Rashid on August 1, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    1 - Morgan was staying back and he indicated Bell to stay back. It was very clear.

    2 - They had lead of 187/4. If Bell was given out then situation could have been not safe for England. That partenership did add 70-80 runs so clearly 250/5 is much better than 187/5.

    3 - Due to having the mentality of winning the game at any cost , the England captain and coach went to indian dressing room and requested to reconsider.

    4 - If England needed 1 run to win and 5 wickets in hand , do you think England would have requested? Answer is Big No. So Hats off to England captain and coach to earn their pay check and con the Dhoni.

    5 - Bell have cheated many time before so cheating again when England can finally bewcome number one team after donkey years, why not?

    6 - Just recently England captain refused a runner for injured Smith. So all this talk about sportsmanship from England seems very funny.

    7 - Dhoni got conned by England captain and coach. He is deinnately a sucker.

  • nctbadri on August 1, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Wonder why the cricket world always applies this spirit of game issue selectively? Lets take a recent case-Bhajjis LBW. Batsman has been declared out wrongly. Replay is shown on big screen. Strauss & co can see it & immedt know its a wrong decision. Bhajji has still not left field-so technically they can recall him. So under this spirit of cricket thing, should Strauss have recalled him? nobody does it,right?See-thats the problem with this spirit of cricket argument. How far do you stretch it? If Bell accepted he was out as per rules, then why ask the opposition captain to give him a 2nd chance? using same logic, if Bhajji had straight gone to Strauss & told him to withdraw his appeal, should Strauss have done? when a player collides with another & gets out, thats a reasonable situation to except a captain to go with the spirit of game & recall batsman. Becos what happened was no ones fault. Its not the case here. Batsman made a mistake & was out - thats why they always get out, right?

  • Ali on August 1, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    I think that the England team should have upheld the 'spirit of the game' by not having asked Dhoni to rescind their appeal thus,accepting the 'out-decision' as just punishment for Bell,who amateurishly left his crease on his assumption that it was tea time, even though the Umpire had not indicated this.This should have been a lesson to team England that it is dangerous to 'assume' and it's price may be the cost of one's wicket.Is it,also,within the 'spirit of the game' to selectively apply the laws of the game,especially when doing so rewards stupidity?

  • Viren on August 1, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    A good attempt at trying to make sense of a bizzare situation, even though some of the arguement do not haold water... but lets not be the judge & jury, that for history to decide.

    Dhoni made the correct decision and demonstrated his sportmanship, something that is lacking in most modern sports. Lets not berate him for that or call him names. He has set the right example as any sportsman/spotswoman should do.

    Well Done M S Dhoni.

    PS This was the only good thing you did in this test, no batting, poor field placing & poor wicket keeping.

  • Ajay on August 1, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    If Dhoni really wanted to uphold the spirit and take the higher ground, he shouldn't have appealed in the first place! Or he should have recalled his appeal when the on field umpires asked if he wanted to withdraw his appeal. He stood his ground then and got the decision in his favor. And changing his mind later on - that clearly is sucker mentality. Dhoni is generally not a sucker, but on this occasion I think he got suckered into it. He has not been his usual self in this series so far. He hadn't shown the will to win, his body language suggested he wanted to be somewhere else, his confidence was very low and he dragged the team down with him despite his bowlers bowling their hearts out.

  • Chris on August 1, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    All this talk of a moment that had no bearing on the result, except perhaps England would have only won by say 280 runs. And if you talk about sledging pay some heed to where it originated not those who now use it ... Australia is to blame for sledging but also to blame for the level of professionalism and fitness in the modern game which must be one of the main reasons that this old, out of condition Indian team are no longer No.1

  • Lapchaser on August 1, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    While everywhere every one is talking about Dhonis decision, not enough is being said about why the English captain and coach asked Dhoni to recall his appeal? dont the english captain and coach know that Ian Bell was out, so why go and ask? dont make any sense at all. If you know your player is out why would you go and ask? 2.Ian Bell himself knew he was perfectly out, then why does he come out and play? Hey is that in the spirit of cricket? isnt that desperation as well?

  • Raj on August 1, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    Has some points but in the end not a great article. Sledging has got nothing to do with what happened with Bell. It was the right decision in the spirit of the game. Just because someone does not do it does not mean you dont do what is right.

    I remember Ganguly being called back after being run out in an one day by Hansie Cronje after he couldn't make ground after colliding with the bowler and was run out.

    So, it does come back. remember what goes around comes around!

  • Sanjeev on August 1, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    It is nothing but Slave mentality by India Dressing room. In the same situation nither aussie nor england might have reversed the decision. Those of those moron even need umpire to raise finger when they are clean bold.

  • Chat Rana on August 1, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    What Dhoni did was outstanding. It was exceptional. I have no doubt whatsoever that no Englishman would have done it, had it been Dravid or Tendulkar. And that is what makes it special. India may have lost the match. But Dhoni showed that Indians are superior to the English.

  • Neel Sharma on August 1, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    I only have one thing to say...Fielders / Bowlers / Captain have right to Appeal...Umpire has Right to Make Decision...But Should Captains Be Allowed to Interfere with Umpires Decisions...Umpires Decisions are FINAL as it is always taken to be...Therefore In this Case Why the Turn-Around...as for English Team Players ( Senior Ones if I May Add )...To Request a Withdrawl of Appeal Tells Me they are Simply the SOOKY Pomies who cannot Handle Cricket. Why Hassal another Teams Captain..Umpires Make the Decision..Ask them to Rescind it..Why put undue Political Pressure on Opposition Captain..Indians are Most Humblest of People On the Planet..Why Take Advantage of Our Humbleness..Be a Man and Accept Ur Players Stupidity to Walk and Get Run Out...Rest My Case...U all can Sook as Much As U Like....

  • Karthik on August 1, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    Dhoni's recall was just an heroic act and nothing else. 'Spirit of the game' does not come into the picture at all. It may even go down as an weird dismissal, but there is no logic in recalling bell. He was clearly started with his fourth run and Morgan was well aware of it. As he had crossed half the way, he just continued walking. Dhoni let down Indian Cricket at the cost of the so called 'Spirit of Cricket'.

  • Vasu on August 1, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    If people start talking abt Law 23 then what abt this "Under Law 27.8, the reprieve shouldn't have been allowed anyway, as any player must be recalled before they have left the field of play"

    How did they miss it?

  • Enlightened one on August 1, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Rule 23 states that the fielding team and the two batsmen should regard it as ceased to be in play. But clearly, Mukund and Dhoni did not regard it so. Bell himself clearly accepts he was OUT by the rules alone.

    Just because a couple of players feel so, it does not matter. Often fielders standing in the boundary change to their other fielding positions immediately after a batsman takes a run, does this mean the ball ceases to be in play and a run-out appeal is not valid?!

  • VG on August 1, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    A sucker for sure. No doubt.

  • Shiyam on August 1, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    It's all about perception. It could be your company, family circle, facebook profile or a cricket ground. It is about maintaining what people will remember you as.

    Dhoni is aware of his brand. Everyone in the dressing room would have known the probabibilty of this matche's outcome. Dhoni wanted to dilute the embarrassment with this gesture.

    Nothing more than that. We make decisions like this on every projects at work. Dhoni has a job and he is doing that as better as he can...

  • Harry on August 1, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Just goes to prove that, the involvement of big bucks, sledging and endless controversies, cricket still is a gentleman's game.

  • Amit on August 1, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    As regards people quoting Law 23 to defend what Bell did, the question then is why did the umpire give Bell out ? If he too thought that the ball was no longer in the field of play, then he should have dismissed the appeal..

  • Ram_uk on August 1, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    Nice article. Exactly what I thought. If you are getting used then its your fault but not others who are trying to use you. In the process if you loose then it makes you look more silly. I'm seriously against Dhoni's(So call entire team decision) decision which has cost us the match. Have you every see this in Football pitch, they pouch on every opportunity to cheat we trying to get away with by saying cricket is gentleman's game. we cannot forget the fact that at the end of the day what matters the most is the WIN. There is nothing called great looser or loosing with dignity. We as Indian fans are dejected and demoralised with foolish act of our team. We are of generation where we give it back what we get but not in our Gandhian generation where if you are slapped once show ur other cheek to get slapped again.

  • Umair Ali on August 1, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Samir , you wrote a very biased article which provokes many questions. I TOTALLY agree with Ammar Zaheer since his few words make more sense than your whole article.

    Take a deep breath and read your article from point of view of a cricket fan (only)

    I dont knw why cricinfo dont filter articles - like this one

    It would have been GR8 if you have praised Dhoni for such a good decision rather than thinking that OH why he didnt take adventure or rather revenge

    Come on !

  • Vasu on August 1, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    After reading most of the comments I diasgree with the people who say it's a great decision by MSD. Absolutely not. Everything was within the law and if you look at the video Ian Bell took 2 steps forward and started walking as soon as Morgan form Non_striker told him to return to the crease. Bell made two mistakes there; 1) Assuming it was a boundary when neither fielder nor umpire signalled it four. 2) Walking towards dressing room assuming it was tea. If the game has to be played like that then why do you need umpires for when you make your own decisions. If everyone thinks it's against the spirit of game then the rules should be changed not the decisions.

  • Prady on August 1, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Dhoni certainly took the appeal back just to keep crowds happy else there was no reason to. Do bowlers and captains take their appeal when a batsman gets out on a low bump catch or a batsman gets out to lbw which had a inside edge?. This is totally stupid to expect dhoni to take his appeal back because the batsman was naive enough to do umpires job by thinking its end of session and its a boundary too. Good job bell!

  • Sunil on August 1, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Dear Samir, it was a nice article ... but Dhoni did consider only after Eng Management asked him ... and also what would have happened if Sachin was in Bell's shoes ...

  • Vipul on August 1, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    The English, though not as bad as the Australians, are no saints and that is well known. They try to engage in 'soft' cheating without blatantly violating the rules (not walking, claiming bump catches, sledging, throwing things on the pitch, trying to disturb the batsman by 'checking' their bat, and playing 'by the rules' when it is in their benefit). Such teams always demand that other teams play in the spirit of the game. Ponting, laughably, proposed that both teams agree to take the field's word on catches before the series, while trying everything possible that was against the spirit of the game.

    Having said that, I still agree with the decision Dhoni took. It was generous, but still the right thing to do. It is not necessary that India lower themselves to the level of the English.

  • Soham adhikari on August 1, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Isn't dhoni hiding behind his captaincy hey has played the worst cricket in this serise. i just thik it is th end of dhoni

    why when a new coach comes india suffers downfall

  • Brian on August 1, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    The whole incident was made up of a number of episodes of sloppy behaviour. Kumar clearly thought he'd failed to save the four when he'd actually pulled off a decent piece of fielding. Umpire Rauf acted as if he'd called the over (e.g. by handing Sharma his sweater) without bothering to check whether the ball had reached the ropes and without actually making the call. Bell, and to a lesser extent Morgan, were guilty of the cricketing eqivalent of not playing to the whistle and simply assuming time had been called from the body language of those around them. Within the letter of the law Bell was out. I suppose if Dhoni had stuck to his appeal, as he was entitled to do, there might have been some questions asked over Kumar's behaviour and whether he was trying to pull a fast one.

    I think Dhoni was probably right- the last thing the game needs is a series decending into venomous acrimony because of a contentious decision- but I wish Strauss and Flower hadn't poked their noses in.

  • Nostrus on August 1, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Not sure if this article truly explores the Aristotlean virtue in respect of this action as uses it castigate a player. Bell was out, and Dhoni could have stood by that without losing faith beyond a few boos. However, as the scenes that followed demonstrate, he was one of many who were confused - including the bowler who was retrieving his sweater, the bowlers end umpire who was anwering his questions during the breaking of the wickets, Raina who was picking up the helmets and even Dhoni, who's appeal looked more like a plea than genuine belief that Bell was out. There has been a precedent - replayed elsewhere on this site (Kallicharan and Grieg in '74). The Indian team choose to assuage their conscience rather than live with the consequences. That surely fulfills Aristotle's requirement - they acted generously because it was the right thing to do regardless of the cost. If Bell had a conscience he would have chipped his first ball back to the bowler and marched off "caught".

  • Vivek on August 1, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    This one got nothing to do with the spirit of the game.

    Mr. Ian Bell only had attitude problem, stupidity and carelessness. He turned back and saw the throw coming and silently walked away for Tea. That is arrogance.

    He deserved to lose his wicket, not matter if he was going to add on 1 more run or 100 more runs.

    Dhoni accepted to Strauss's Begging , just to coverup his horror time behind & in front of the stumps. Indian media are stupid enough to make him a hero , overnight. which could well cover up losing the No.1 position..

    To end, Yes, DHONI IS A SUCKER.

  • Deivanaathan on August 1, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Nice Article and rightly put. The spirit of the game lies in the competitiveness and you can't show the spirit of the game by calling one back who is out with his stupidity.

  • JJ on August 1, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Doesn't the fact that the umpires asked Dhoni on the field of play if he wanted to withdraw his appeal (which at that point he didn't) indicate that they too thought something was not right about it?

  • Manju on August 1, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    When I read the title - I thought I will be reading the generosity of Mr.Dhoni's winning the toss and giving away the advantage (opportunity) of batting first to England captain, that was a bigger and more generous gift than the one what I read later. Either way MSD is a sucker, SUCKER and a BIG SUCKER. That remains a fact. He is not a keeping wickets well, he is not batting well and he is not captaining well. I don't what his role in the team. OK, now I know protecting his friends (like Harbhajan Singh) and IPL mate (Mukund) in the national tea.

  • ashish on August 1, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Nice question. Leave aside the spirit of the game. If the ball was not dead,then Bell was out. He should have admitted that he was out. Contrastingly,he stood near the ropes and was going full on about the activities involved during his run-out.

  • Kunal on August 1, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Very good article, but i think what dhoni did was only because he thought it would uplift his face in the world cricket, really bad decision to recall BELL after he was comprehensively run out.

  • Sanjay on August 1, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Thank God for this reasoned piece standing out like a beacon amongst all the nonsense applauding the "Spirit of the Game". Just another incorrect call by Dhoni.

  • sumit on August 1, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Wow ! As if the rabble of one-eyed Indian "fans" needed any rousing ! Indian cricket may not be #1 in terms of ability on field , but it is certainly light years ahead of anyone else in its imaginary persecution complex & constant need to find something to whine about.

  • Krishna on August 1, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    It was a ridiculous decision and its no wonder India is struggling to keep the no 1 ranking

    1. Is there any captain (current or among commentators praising Dhoni) who would have done this? 2. Would Dhoni himself have done this in Wankhede Stadium against Sri lanka in the WC final? 3. Would Dhoni himself have done this in Chennai vs Blore IPL final?

    Dhoni has done a remarkable job for the last three years (winning the WC was remarkable) but this sadly just shows where his and India's priorities lie. The team that desperately wants no. 1 is getting there in style.

  • LukeG on August 1, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    The mistake was running him out in the first place. Should cricketers also appeal if a batsman picks up a ball and returns it to a close fielder? It was borderline, at best.

    And what has any of this got to do with sledging? Dicey dismissals, claimed catches, batsmen not walking, ball tampering etc, are all totally different from sledging. I can understand why people don't like sledging, but it should be treated as a separate issue.

    I guess we shouldn't be surprised if Yuvraj might not have the temperament to handle some chat. He doesn't look like he can handle any more comfort eating.

    Also, congratulations for turning an England v India dispute into a chance to have a crack at Australia. I was fearing that your transparent cultural biases were waning...

  • Greg on August 1, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    Excellent article written from an interesting perspective. Certainly, the accepted norms of the game seem questionable and inconsistent: why is it OK not to walk, or to appeal for an LBW when you've seen an inside-edge, but not to claim a catch on a bump ball? However, I disagree that Dhoni was excessively generous on this occasion. The fact that the fielder contributed, albeit unwittingly, to Bell's belief that a 4 had been struck makes a moral difference and puts the case on the same sort of footing as a situation where, e.g., the runner is inadvertently bundled over by a fielder and run out short of his ground. In that situation, there is a developing convention that the fielding team does not appeal for the run out: certainly Collingwood was strongly criticised when he refused to withdraw the appeal after the Grant Elliot/Ryan Sidebottom incident. Dhoni's actions, by contrast, were laudable and fair.

  • reds on August 1, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    yes dhoni did the right thing. dhoni bashing is most unfortunate consider the fielding of this team. 3 players over 36yrs. an off break bowler who has pass his prime. you need a spinner who should be bowling the majority of overs when things are bad. missing the lading bowler who also adds variety. then dhoni has won ipl bak to back, world best 20 overs club. now going international world 20/20, world cup putting india as no 1 playing test team and holding it for so long. all this was due to his captaincy. the team is definately not the best allaround indian team. give the man your support. god bless

  • SharjilBaig on August 1, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    As per law 23.1 (b): "The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the umpire at the bowler's end that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play." Having reviewed footage, it is obvious that PK, Bell and Morgan believed the ball to be dead (EITHER a 4 OR a 3 OR pending replay --> in any case, dead). The umpire was partially at fault for not calling soon enough but the main fault lies with India's close-in fielders. India's close-in fielders "revived" what was essentially a dead ball and what they darn well knew Bell reasonably believed was a dead ball. This is actually cheating. Dhoni is not at all sporting or magnanimous for withdrawing an appeal based on FRAUD. Morgan simply re-grounded his bat in panic at the disheartening realisation that the close-in Indian fielders might actually try to get someone out in this fraudulent manner. It is akin to someone diving in football to get a penalty.

  • sunit on August 1, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    You are correct. I totally agree with Pratik. MSD is trying to be generous to protect his failings and to deflect the attention. Vaughn and Broad should apologize to Laxman publicly, "in the true spirit" of the game!

  • Venkat on August 1, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    The article does not even provide a full side of the coin analysis!! Mr. Samir Chopra totally ignored the fact about the the ball was considered dead, out of play, and that is the central point of the issue. Given that the fielders body language was indicating the same, the onusof the decision is on the fielding captain and Dhoni made the right decision, based on feedback from his coach and fellow players. This is indeed commendable. Forget about 'spirit of the game' and all that over used lingo crap. Even in gully (street) cricket I am used to give a runner a warning begore Mankading anyone, a la the commendable Walsh. So Samir, don't go for sensationalism, well do go for it, you are a journalist after all, but at least introduce all the facts and then provide YOUR opinion.

  • shailendra on August 1, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    i think Ian Bell made the Indians fools. replay shows very clearly that he was running for 4th run. But when he observed that Morgan was not interested in 4th run, unfortunately it was too late for Bell, he was middle of the wicket there was no chance to go back into the crease & now he started pretending as if he is going for the tea. Its shame-full Mr Bell & for all English team.

  • Mathan on August 1, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Everyone expects Indians need to follow the spirit of game always....If any English player forget the rules & sportmanship of cricket in the field then India need to follow the spirit of game there...what a rubbish & silly crowd....If sree spoke to any batsmen then they "Boo"...bt if anderson did that..then they cheer...England players & their crowd are always worst than the Aussies...2 days before Vaughan told about the 'Vaseline'...He was a captain of England team before...What a shame...& Andy flower-Panesar-Sachin incident...he told its a naive...bt if we appeal for runout then its not a sportsmanship & spirit...If you already know the rules & spirit of the game...then you shouldn't went to Indian dressing room & begged to the players... They want No.1 status nw...you are playing good cricket in the recent we accept that...bt first you need to know what is Gentlemen's game & how to play that...then come & ask...we don't mind that...

  • Nasir Malik on August 1, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Well, the sorry thing for me is that through all of what happened, Indians are unsuccessfully again trying to prove that they are superior to anybody else in cricketing world. Whatever they do, what ever they say whatever they feel is not only the best but the whole of the world should salute them for that. Yes, nobody can beat them in a web poll or out-number their comments in any social networking place or site. But the commonsense will always prevail. And having written all of this, I will praise one Indian for this and he is MS Dhoni. What he did was a nice gesture. But what in turn every Indian is asking from others for this is totally out of this world. Everybody except Indians want right decision decisions, including umpires. It is un-sportsman ship of India to bully all of them.

  • Rivka on August 1, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    I can't honestly see an English captain withdrawing an appeal no matter what.

  • Aleem Jan on August 1, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Tony Greig recalled Alvin Kallicharran in 1973-74 at Port of Spain, when he had walked off thinking it was stumps.The appeal was taken back after a conference between two tem managements and umpires. In 1999 in Joh'burg, Angelo Mathews was recalled by Andrew Strauss as he was run out after colliding with Graham Onions.He was apparently trying to repay what Collingwood had done to New Zealand a year earlier at the Oval in an ODI.Grant Elliot was given out after he had collided with Sidebottom. Imran Khan in the 1987-88 tour against the West Indies,recalled Desmond Haynes who was batting on 85 at Port-of-spain.He was adjudged LBW off Saleem Jaffer but Imran withdrew the appeal when Haynes indicated he had hit the ball. Nest year in Lahore,India were 150 in 37 overs,when Srikkanth was recalled by Imran.At 66 for 3 with Srikkanth on 31,Waqar Younis had him LBW.Srikkanth shook his head pointing to his bat that he had hit.Imran asked him to go back,only for him to be dismissed next ball.

  • sunny on August 1, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Dhoni is exposed. He cannot even set a field for tail enders. 400 plus was scored and Dhoni could not stop either singles or boundaries. This is the worst captaincy i have seen in many years. Indian team has being humiliated and here Dhoni is trying to get cheap points in morality. Who cares about the Bell incident and dont blame the pitch, blame the inept and lazy leadership by Dhoni.

    India will be humiliated in this series and in future if we dont have a captain that thinks before he acts.

  • Ashish on August 1, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    To answer Gagan's question here are Mr. Vaughan's views...So quickly on the backfoot.. just like in his playing days!!

    "As a captain I think I would have appealed just as Dhoni did - he had every right to appeal. But I also think I would have been talked around at tea time for the good of the game. "

  • ram_91 on August 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    haha mr.dhoni calling back a batsmen who is declared out by the umpire.....batsmen comes back to the field and starts playing just because the opponent called him on to the field......lol this is seriously unsportive shit.......match officials dont have any respect???.........is this the game called cricket??if yes thn all cricket fans are fools.!

  • omanakuttam on August 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    In Test cricket, many batsmen, even the greats get out when they slacks in concentration. Ian Bell was out because of the samething..

  • Hemi on August 1, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    I am sitting here and trying to recall just one moment when English or their cousins Aussies/Kiwis every displayed sportmanship just once. All I recall is them making devious tactics and then getting away with it. Trying to justify why Dhoni recalled this chump back.He had been had and the laws of the jungle say he has to be devoured. The beer slozed fans will boo their mother too if they would get their way so that should not have influenced Dhoni's decision or did it ? Then it was not sportmanship it was cowardice.

  • Kishan on August 1, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    The answer to all those questions posed at the end - NO Dhoni and Indians in general are soft. I have lost all respect for Dhoni for overturning that decision.

  • Anurag on August 1, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    If things are going to be decided off the field like this and umpires be sidelined this way, what would now stop the BCCI from demanding that this match be declared null and void? It certainly was not in the 'spirit of the game' for the England captain and coach to barge into the opposition dressing room and, backed with a rowdy booing crowd, intimidate the Indian team into accepting a decision that suits England. Where does this whole thing stop? Strauss and co have opened a very uncomfortable Pandora's Box.

  • ashish on August 1, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    Dhoni might have consulted the team..but he likes to cover himself with personal glory...As for Englishmen-they apply different strokes for different folks. All those who say that cricket is a winner are speaking somebody else's mind. And to correct RJ. Bell has said in TMS interbiew that he never heard "over" being called.

  • Anonymous on August 1, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    I dont think Strauss or someone like Ponting would have done the same thing. Hell even Ganguly would not have done it. Dhoni was a sucker!

  • Hemi on August 1, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    There is more to Dhoni going on - than being a sucker. His field placements and some of his crucial changes in bowling at critical times in both Lords and this test betrays Dhoni and Raina are playing a bigger game here. Something involving bookies /spot fixers I suspect. Dhoni is too smart a guy to make these kind of mistakes unless he wants to.I sincerely hope he is grilled by BCCI on some of his tactics but wait he plays for CSK which is ruled by current BCCI faction. Hmm... Fair play dovetails nicely in Dhoni's game strategy.Too bad it is us the Indian fans who are the real suckers here.

  • Yogios19 on August 1, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    The same Andrew Strauss who did not allow a runner for Grame Smith during an ODI is talking about "spirit of the game!!!" Andrew Strauss is the biggest cheat. GO INDIA

  • ashu on August 1, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    its all crap when players like naseer hussain ask to show sportsmanship and to maintain the spirit of the game,where was his sportsmanship when he put the all on side field for sachin n asked his bowlers to bowl deliveries angling to his leg stump?he was criticized for it and rightly so. why is the indian team only expected to show sportsmanship?

  • Prasanth on August 1, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Good thinking and great article. Dhoni showed the greatness of a captain along with team India. But I wonder how shameless are Strauss and Flower to ask Dhoni to withdraw his appeal! Do they have any moral right to do so? Had they respected the rules of the game and understood that it was the stupidity of Bell, they would not have done so. The boos are for Strauss & Flower..... booooooooooooo.............. boooooooooooooooooooooo...................................

  • blake on August 1, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    silly stuff, he was out, no one doubts it. This is not back yard cricket it is test cricket. Wrong decision was made by dhoni.

  • Gagan on August 1, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    I like the article from one perspective that one sould not be swayed by emotions only while making such decisions. What happened was idiotic and unprofessional on the part of Andrew Strauss. England has no business going to Dhoni ans requesting the decision be overturned. Did they come back and take back the appeal against Harbhajan?

    What Dhoni did, was under pressure from the crowd and being in a very politically sensitive situation, he had no choice. If Dhoni would have turned the request down, the whole English and Australian cricketing world would have been up in arms against Dhoni, India & BCCI...

    In the end, it all leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Lets ask Mr. Vaughan for his views? He seems to be a a sudden cricketing expert nowd...

  • Anonymous on August 1, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Simply put, if Dhoni would not have agreed to letting Bell come back, the Indians would have been ostrasized for displaying bad sportmanship.

  • RJ on August 1, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    Ian Bell, as widely recognised, made a school boy error. Importantly, the ball didn't even reach the keeper before Bell walked up the wkt. Now without any call from the umpire there can be no dispute to the ball being dead.

    Every commentator said they should have given Bell out (exception maybe David Lloyd), yet debate is around Indias actions. Clearly the spirit of the game is tarnished by England:

    1. By the their reaction on the balcony 2. Inciting the crowd 3. Bell saying that over was called, which it was but after he walked down the pitch! 4. Bell denying that Morgan put his hand out to stop him 5. Strauss placing pressure on the Indians to overturn a clear walking uply correct decision, especially since I have no doubt England would not have overturned the decn

    Please also not that this was an error bought on by Bell directly. Bhajji's lbw clearly hit the bat & the fileders would have known that. I dont believe that either are against the spirit of the game

  • Anamika on August 1, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    @Nigel Praveen did not pretend its as four. but Bell did pretend its end of over instead basically accepting his mistake.

  • Longmemory on August 1, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    We need to get to a place beyond binaries like "suckers" and "preservers of the spirit of cricket." Bell acted the way I would expect him to: this is after all the guy who didn't walk after nicking the ball and, in fact, demanded a review of it. He's also the fielder involved in Collygate. So, if he does not thank the Indians and all he can think of saying is that he was stupid and he's learned his lesson, well, welcome to the self-referential world of Ian Bell. As for the other English - 3 ex-captains in the booth were unanimous that they would not have recalled him, and Strauss' sportsmanship (or lack thereof) has been detailed by others here. Yet, I think Dhoni did the right thing and he is no sucker. The team looked at the replays on TV and felt it did not look right and collectively felt they would not like Bell's wkt in such circumstances. Thats enough for me. That Dhoni's adversaries do not have his and his team's class is their loss, not our shame.

  • anamika on August 1, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Bell was on his way to fourth run when he stopped in the middle assuming it was four. Ball way still in play and umpire had not called the over. It was Bell's mistake.If umpire had made a mistake or someone claimed a bumped catch etc and dhoni recalled that would in spirit of game. Dhoni basically recalled a correct decision.

    But is Dhoni fully fault here? Seems like with Duncan Fletcher India has gone back to old ways

  • Sakeb on August 1, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    For what its worth,I said at the time that Dhoni was being a sucker.... and no one agreed with me. To invoke codswallop like the spirit of cricket is just weakening the game's integrity. By integrity I mean that its integrity as a proper sport in which rules must hold sway and no allowances made for the retarded actions of its practitioners. To say Ian Bell should be recalled is to say that cricket is not so 'serious' a sport that its exponents should be held to high standards of competence. That it is sometimes okay to disregard the rules, and in the idyllic 'spirit of the game' the powers that be will look the other way. If Dhoni had withdrawn an appeal on the basis that a catch had not carried, then that is not great sportsmanship, it is just common human decency and honesty. You cannot cannonise someone for not doing something wrong. Anyway, please let's stop this spirit of cricket nonsense. It is the root of the dewy-eyed sentimentality that the game can really do without.

  • Jameel on August 1, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Not Dhoni, but the writer of this article is a sucker. Typical Indian attitude. As Gulshan Grover himself said in one of the movies "BLOODY INDIANS. HAARTAY HAIN TO ROTAY HAIN".

  • daniel rouse on August 1, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    You could go down the road of saying india were or should I say kumar were not showing the spirit of the game. He thought the ball had gone for 4. You could see that by his reaction and how he tossed the ball back in. I would say all Ian Bell was stupid but his actions were promoted but the Indian responce in the first place. All Dhoni did was correct his and kumars mistake in the first place. And whoever posted about calling people back for LBW decisions I have one thing to say. Use the full DRS system!!!!

  • Sanjiv on August 1, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    I agree with Samir. Bell as a professional cricketer would have known that the only way to get back into the crease was to use his captain and coach to "test" Dhoni. Are you such a weak sucker, Dhoni? Bell, the English players, Vaughan, and the English public are laughing privately about how easily they suckered a naive captain of India! If it was Ganguly, I am sure the English captain and coach would have been shown the door! Dhoni is so weak, he doesn't deserve to lead a No.1 team. Let the English cricketers become No.1 - they have learnt the art of theatre from their soccer players well!

  • Aak on August 1, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    After people making stupid mistakes like Bell did, then talking about spirit of cricket and pressing on opposite caption to make fair decision?, in my opinion total stupidity by England team. Remember by, Bell was out, how dare you blame India for that.

  • PH on August 1, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    Robert: "the law states "fielding side", that is the collective, not a single player, clearly for the bails to be removed and the appeal to be asked the whole of the fielding side had not ceased to be treating the ball as if it was still in play."

    I argue that the breaking of the stumps was something of an afterthought, and that there was a point prior to this when the entire fielding side (or that of it that I could see in the replays!) had ceased treating the ball as in play. It is at that point that, had dead ball been called (as I feel it should have been), it would not have mattered if one fielder SUBSEQUENTLY saw an opportunity to take advantage of the confusion.

    I do not think that any of this was malicious, and that only by breaking the bails have we had the chance to debate this event. However, I personally agree with Nigel Driffield when he suggests that the implications of allowing this dismissal to stand would be fields presenting 4s had been scored to gain advantage

  • Ashwin on August 1, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    That is a brilliant article. Had a good time reading this!

  • takan on August 1, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    may be it was vice versa, the indian batsmen would have been blamed, and the decision would have not been reversed by the english, if it is favour of vites, then it's sportmanship other wise ooh, in this game the bats men were fools, they left before the umpire called them to do so/

  • Bernard Koch on August 1, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    I think that trying to look at previous situations as precedents to this one is spurious. If the level of sportsmanship has deteriorated in the past, why do we use this as a precedent to continue the trend. In and of itself this was a magnanimous gesture and a light in the current dark world of match fixing, performance enhancing drugs and "win at all costs" mentalities. I for one, will remember the Indian team and MSD more for this brave sporting gesture than all their victories put together.

  • Shyam on August 1, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Nice article! especially towards the end. To make game better, ICC should consider bringing the following within its rules. 1) when batsman don't walk-off after edging, match referee shud punish him by one-match suspension. 2) when bowlers or fielders or batsman found sledging - he shud be punished with high penalty fine or match suspension. Allow sledging - let the came be more interesting or let match referee take proper action immediately during play. Why shud the Match referee wait till the end of the match to enquire. When the TV cameras and stump cameras can catch every sledging in the field.

  • Satya Gorthy on August 1, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Hi All I have a question on totally different but related issue. If a bowler gets a batsman out for a thin edge and starts celebrating without waiting for umpire's confirmation, that bowler will be pulled up in front of match referee for some kind of reprimand. In my view, Bell committed exactly same "crime" as he took the decision (that it is Tea) into his hands and started walking off. Why was he not pulled up in front of match referee at all?

  • Richard Whittome on August 1, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I think that Mr Bell must be getting more than ever so slightly fed up with being called 'dozy' to be honest. Perhaps those extra 22 runs would have been a small price to pay in order to avoid such repeated accusations of fecklessness.

    It would have been nice for the Indians to have been allowed to come to the decision on their own, without the pressure from Flowers and Strauss (however understandable that was in the heat of the moment). However, I think that Dhoni should be applauded for realising that if something doesn't feel right then it usually isnt. It's all very well going on about sticking to the rules of the game but he and his team are the ones who would have to have lived with it ultimately.

  • GJamesS on August 1, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Sorry to the author, but I think you're entirely wrong. Kumar implied that the ball had crossed the boundary - in actual fact, I think it's pretty clear he believed it had. You can clearly see both Bell and Morgan looking at him, reading his body language and stopping the run.

    If he had made the gesture for a 4, then tried to throw it back for a run out, he would have been outright cheating! The fact that he made an honest mistake doesn't take away from the fact that he deceived the batsmen by his actions. In the end, I think the right conclusion was reached

  • Theena on August 1, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Seems to me Dhoni would have been damned if he did and damned if he didn't. Personally think he made the right choice - whatever the motivation. I think Dravid put it best when he said the mood in the dressing room was not right after that dismissal.

    What I am interested in though is the timing of the event. What would have happened if the incident happened in the middle of the session? Would Dhoni and Co, in the heat of the battle, have been generous? I think the fortuitous timing allowed for the entire think tank to look at the incident, removed from the emotional outpouring and look at it from a rationale standpoint. I don't think that would have been the case had the incident happened in the middle of the session.

  • ali on August 1, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    ok dhoni showed good gesture but didnt this so called spirit of game has overtaken rules of game? it wasnt the case where batsman was colided with fieldr & no mistake. in this case bell was clearly wrong & he did saw back to see ball but then again proceeded with it. & about crowd they dont have enough info. even at home at 1st instance i thought india were wrong but when whole info came inda was right in there appeal.

  • khurram on August 1, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    all peopele who are comparing this with other things like lbw, edges etc this is not the same as that . coz lbw aor edges are part of daily routine with umpires fault. and 2nd those things hapen in middle of game u only get 1/2 mins for that . in this case 20 mins break help. even in this case when while leaving field umpires asked dhoni is he going to withdraw he said no so if there was next ball to bowl then it will not hapen. but hre 20 mins break helped dhoni to talk with team, managment etc.even at most said at first thts ok or not but after few mins when whole picture came in indias apeal seems right.

  • Amit on August 1, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    If the game was in the balance, the appeal would not have been rescinded. India were well and truly out of the game by the time this incident happened. Therefore, rescinding of the appeal was a calculated move to win brownie points and nothing more. I do not think we need to read too much into this. India is getting hammered by a team which has shown so far that it is far superior to them.

  • ausaff bhat on August 1, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    i was about to give same example as Ammar Zaheer...and i don't know how cricinfo has published this article where gentleman are called suckers,,wining or losing is a part of game..but playing in right spirit is important...we should salute dhoni rather than criticizing him..i bet same author would have cried if tendulkar was given out...salute dhoni...and dont cry mr..author ..dhoni s gesture brought whole india accolades ...

  • Sudhir Syal on August 1, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Completely agree with this. I think Dhoni got suckered in possibly because of some ill conceived advice from Duncan Fletcher. Former English Coach, Zimbabwean and Andy Flower's good friend.

    If Gary was still coach - I doubt the decision would have been reversed.

  • henry on August 1, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    You are totally correct samir.You don't need aristotle to tell you that the whole indian team got bullied by two africans,who seem petulent,selfish and childish.I long for ponting and gayle.This situation would never occur with others like them.Congrats samir on great writing,the cream rises to the top,unlike what showed up at rent bridge. Keep it going, henry

  • sonoffarman on August 1, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    It was against the spirit of the game for the captain and coach to go beg the opposing captain to take back an appeal for a legitimate run out. I fail to understand why a mistake by the batsmen should be reversed. I agree with the writer and the comments made by most of the other bloggers who have supported the idea that the Indian captain was overly generous. I also think that the crowd acted poorly in booing the Indian team. I think that Ian Bell should have paid for his mistake, although the Indian captain's actions are commendable.

  • deepak on August 1, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    I admire Dhoni for what he did because I don't think any other captain would have done that taking into account the position India was at tea. (Bcoz Shastri famously remarked that Bell should have been in the dressing room having a cup of tea) But I would like to make a point.Dhoni has been too generous at times.Do u remember the "toss fiasco" at the world cup final.Actually dhoni shldn't have given sangakkara a second chance.Had it not been for dhoni(he himself took the responsibility and saw India through) and Gambhir it would have cost India the world cup.So my humble opinion is that dhoni should be a bit more aggressive at times.Else the wicked oppositions will always take leverage of his generosity

  • Wilbert on August 1, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    the fact that this happened after the English begged Dhoni to overturn the decision , speaks of Dhoni's continous need to "play to the crowd" .Dhoni indeed was a sucker ! how many winners would do the same? could u imagine roger federrer, allan border, sergei bubka or michael schmacher (or even strauss for that matter) do the same? Nice guys are'nt winners ..sad but true! keeping bell off the field may have given India the edge to turn this game around, but lets see if they have the steel to come back and win ?

  • Vijay on August 1, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    For an article which started with the lofty ideas of Aristotle, this article petered out quite quickly and the author brought about his point of view in very questionable circumstances. Why play on the emotional when you start with the logical?

    Ian Bell didnt seem like he was looking for a run. I feel so (I am no one who can influence opinions greatly, I agree but I am digressing). Ganguly feels so. Akram felt so. The Indian team felt so too. What's the big deal?

    I would recommend the author to read the Tony Grieg - Kallicharan saga in W.I which is posted currently on the homepage of cricinfo. Quite fitting. And almost on similar lines. While we are at it, I find it hilarious that Harsha Bhogle asks people: "Had it not been tea, would it have been different and the decision not revoked". Beyond the point, I say. Had it not been tea, Bell wouldnt have felt the need to leave his crease.

  • deepak on August 1, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    I admire Dhoni for what he did because I don't think any other captain would have done that taking into account the position India was at tea. (Bcoz Shastri famously remarked that Bell should have been in the dressing room having a cup of tea) But I would like to make a point.Dhoni has been too generous at times.Do u remember the "toss fiasco" at the world cup final.Actually dhoni shldn't have given sangakkara a second chance.Had it not been for dhoni(he himself took the responsibility and saw India through) and Gambhir it would have cost India the world cup.So my humble opinion is that dhoni should be a bit more aggressive at times.Else the wicked oppositions will always take leverage of his generosity

  • Kieran E on August 1, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    There are inconsistent approaches so no-one should do the decent thing? A strange argument, and one that seems rather silly in the sense that, on my gods, not everyone is noble. Yes, people stand when they have nicked and appeal when not certain to being outright provocative, but the situation with Bell and similar situations is not quite the same. Bell was stupid and unlucky and the situation was confused, India had every right to appeal and all English commentators agree with that and that they would probably have done the same, but Dravid put it best when he said it didn't feel right; An umpire might miss a nick and the player will not feel guilty standing as the general agreement is if the umpire misses something that is fir game for both sides, but in this situation, Bell was confused into being out. He wasn't deceived, India did nothing wrong and it was his own fault, but as Dravid said, reverse it and you would not be happy about the decision standing.

  • vikram on August 1, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    pindia went to eng to win the series... not to win sprit of the game award.... dhoni made a huge mistake by allowing bell to play again.....

  • Amit Mangal on August 1, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Excellently put forward. And Spirit of the Game, is it only for India? Aussies claim that they do not walk, and we have an Indian player who walks even when umpire gives him not out, and that too in a WC game. We all remember sydney 2008 and spirit of the game story. At Trent Bridge, sportsmanship will cost India the series and eventually the top spot. But people across the world will have what they wanted now, dethrone India from top spot. Now they can pat on our back and laugh it off at tea time.

  • Ram on August 1, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    While I dont agree with andy flower(Monty Panesar), what Dhoni did was right. England while a good team, has to mature a lot.

  • Salman Ali Rai on August 1, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    @ Ammar Zaheer: Sir you have hit the nail right on its head. This is the first crappy article I have seen from Samir. After reading the article I am of the impression that the writer is trying to suggest that two wrongs can make one right. What Dhoni did was commendable and let's leave it there. Why do we have to create a fuss about every thing? Why do we confuse ethics with the laws. Bell was by no means trying to take another run so ethically the appeal shouldn't have been made at the first place. This to me seems an effort to divert attention from the pathetic performance by the Indian team. Look they conceded 417 runs in a day and at the end of the day people are talking about Dhoni's generosity.

    These writers do know how to praise Indians even when they are performing like crap in the field

  • Ashish on August 1, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    @David- And do you think Mukund and Dhoni were not the part of the fielding side??? They surely didn't consider the play to be over. And the umpire wasn't convinced either, otherwise he would have called a tea or "over". Anyways, everyone including the English team and Ian Bell agree that legally he was out. So it was already open and shut before you tried opening and shutting again.

    Moreover, I still have doubts that Bell was trying for another run, before wrongly realizing that it was a four. And if and only if that's the case, Dhoni and the team are suckers indeed. But otherwise, I think it was a good thing to do.

  • Paul on August 1, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I agree completely with Ammar Zaheer at the top of the comments. A player made a mistake, read the signs (the fielder thought it was a four, the umpire handed the bowler his jumper) rather than taking the cautious approach. Dhoni, quite rightly, appealed for the out and got it. Then after being asked the question, he reviews the situation and makes a sporting gesture. If you're going to ruin the moment for him, let's also review the actions of the umpires - one of whom clearly thought the ball was dead, even if he forgot to proclaim it so. Personally I'm going to enjoy the great moment this is, that even in this world where everything seems dominated by money and winning, the captain of the worlds number one team, battling to keep his team in that position, STILL pushed it all aside to uphold the spirit of the game. Well done Dhoni, ignore the whinging critics (at home and abroad) and be proud of your actions.

  • shankar on August 1, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Excellent comments. Shameless england where cricket was born should not be whinging and be honest rather being naive about rules. Is Ian Bell so honest or Stuart Board so honest. What about Micheal Vaughan shameless fellow accusing gentlmen like VVS. These beggars should be sued in the court. Stuart and Flower had come begging to Dhoni so that Bell can score some more runs.

  • Adam Robinson on August 1, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Couldn't agree more.

  • Stuart on August 1, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Check the highlights. Five out of six England batsmen did, in fact, walk

  • Anonymous on August 1, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    dhoni has no right to withdraw the appeal.Spirit of the game is killed by english media by making mokery by accusing vvs vaseline episode.

  • Sachin Patel on August 1, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Well done dhoni! good revege on crowd harassing sreesanth near boundary! Finally you make them cry (booing was sounding like cry)

    Ha ha ha good one

  • Ramesh on August 1, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    What Dhoni did was right,but the comments appearing in the chat seem a touch too critical.Only someone who has played the game will know how difficult it is for fielder to know if the catch was taken cleanly.Dhoni taking bumped catches and appealing for the same is purely for the reason that he believes he has taken it cleanly.For the information of the particular writer,Dhoni is one cricketer who walks when he knows he is out.

  • Shankar on August 1, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    What next? Batsman has a brain freeze and stops mid pitch - do the fielding side not run him out? Shame on the crowd for booing India and the umpires.

  • Nigel Vonway on August 1, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Only some of these comments identify the real issue here - the fact that Bell thought, with some justification, that it was a boundary. If he had been run out while just idling out of his crease, then the dismissal would have been fair. However, Kumar (the fielder) behaved as if the ball had gone for four (it seems he himself thought it may well have done so). Dhoni deserves to praised for withdrawing his appeal, but had he not done so he would have been encouraging sharp practice from fielders in implying the ball is dead when it isn't (incidentally, I don't think Kumar was doing so, his behaviour seemed entirely innocent, if not bizarre).

    Also, your definition of generosity is surely wrong. Generosity is a function of the behaviour and disposition of the donor, not the donee. A millionaire giving £10 to a beggar is clearly less generous than a poor man doing so - however deserving or not the beggar himself. So your article is based on a false premise from the outset.

  • Tom on August 1, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Many big opinions here most of which appear to be from people who have never really played the game to any level at all. I don't mean to say that unless you have played first class cricket your opinion on this doesn't count but throughout cricket around the world and down to club cricket level their is a code. I believe I would have behaved exactly as Dhoni did, out in the heat of battle trying to get wickets and he and his team were well within their rights to appeal. Bell was indeed out. However as he had chance to then sit down with his team, see it on television and being asked to reconsider he made the right call. To run a batsmen out who is not attempting a run is outside the spirit of the game. The spirit of the game however includes hard cricket where sledging is common. Test cricket is a test of mind and body and having the bowlers and fielders in your ear when you are batting is part of that. Dhoni and his team should be applauded not accused of being suckers.

  • Anil on August 1, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Well said man, Spirit of the game was only for Indians. In spite of all this, it is so stupid on part of all folklore to consider Dhoni as a captain with sportsman spirit. These english, NZ, Oz, SA and have always treated asian teams like dirt and it is their bad luck that they are seeking our money to live now. The spirit has to be taken a bit higher. England can have counties but India should not. ICC is OK with England but not with India. India has to taken umpire decisions while racists like Steve Waugh curses INdian umpires and go scott free. Least talked about Ponting the better. England did not win, India gifted their #1 status. Question is how can Flower and Strauss go and beg with opposition. Can Dhoni and Fletcher do it the same when Dravid is out? Saying, he was unaware ball was hitting the middle stump? Or he was unaware that fielder would actually catch the ball? England you have all the boos of all the world. Eng- dig a hole, Dhoni wud pee and you drown in it.

  • titu kalra on August 1, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    england players are checking vvs laxman for vaseline and ms dhoni is showing true sportsmanship to them....wow it happens only with indians.

  • Rajeev on August 1, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    Very good article. I never thought about "A sucker is not being truly generous, because he gives where there is neither need nor desert.". So true, isnt it. Dhoni was sucker. Wonder what you will call Flower and Staruss? Beggers? What would have happened if they had not approached.

  • abhay singh on August 1, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    Mr. Ammar Zaheer plz remember another ur faviourate wasim akram who in 1999 kolkata test get sachin tendulkar out by pushing him. when sachin put his bat and the bowler pushed sachin so don't tell us abt sportsmanship by pakistani players who don't have any sportsman spirit. ricky ponting given his word when sourav ganguly's catch was taken by ground by micheal clark and he had given his word. so its indians who always show this sportsman spirit and we get nothing in return.

  • Danny on August 1, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    I mean is this a joke or something? How does sledging and booing equate to getting someone run out when he was not even attempting a run? ... I don't even see why Mr Dhoni is being given so much credit for this ... If Bell would have been out history would have suggested that just because India could not get Bell out otherwise and they were almost losing the game they resorted to this dirty tactic. Please folks, there are better ways of getting someone out than running them out when they are walking away for tea break. Get a grip !

  • arvind on August 1, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    why did the english skipper and coach go to dhoni and beg for bell's return? bell was play acting when he knew that he was out. english team violated the spirit of the game and should be questioned. to become no 1 they would resort to all sort of gamemanship and then put up an innocent face. they are already outplaying the indian anyways so why all this drama???

  • Hani on August 1, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    What spirit of cricket.. that out was given according to the rules of cricket,It was clearly Bell's mistake and there is no reason fa dhoni to b so generous.. where v are already lagging in the series (0-1).. Its long time since i feel India not playing to win test matches.. Just they want to some how draw the matches.. If this is the case am damn sure that India will b dropping to No.7 soon..

  • Neil Matthews on August 1, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Oh dear, what a long-winded way of missing the point. Generosity in this case *may* bring generosity in return. But anyone who has watched - say - football in the past 20 years will know that meanness guarantees meanness. Someone has to take the first step, Dhoni and his team have done it, so give them credit.

  • Mohan on August 1, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    @David: As you stated the Law 23.1(b) states that the ball is dead when it is "clear to the umpire at the bowler's end" and not the batsmen or the fielders. So in this Asad Rauf hadn't called the ball dead and so it was perfectly in play and it was Bell's silliness that lost him his wicket. Dhoni played the messiah for Bell by giving him another chance to bat.

  • Thunder on August 1, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I do agree with you.

    But then I don't understand why people don't like the under-arm bowling incident? In my opinion a player or a team is allowed to do "any thing" as long it is in the boundary defined by the "laws of the game", not the "spirit of the game"

  • JLE on August 1, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    It's not as if there wasn't a precedent for this situation. 1973-74, Kallicharran being given out "run out" off the last ball of the day after having left his crease believing the ball to be dead but before the umpire actually called time.

    And Dhoni, during the tea break, made exactly the same decision as Tony Greig had done overnight. In both cases the appeal was withdrawn and the batsman resumed his innings. (Kalli scored 16 more runs: Bell scored 22.)

    And yes, in both cases, had the appeal NOT been withdrawn, the umpires would indeed have had no choice but to give the batsman out.

    Yet again, in both cases: The fielding side had the chance to reflect on the decision and withdraw the appeal, and chose to do so. And had every right to do so, and should be applauded for it.

    Also, while they would not have had time to reconsider if it had not happened on the stroke of a break in play, neither incident would have happened had it not been right at the end of a session.

  • Hugh on August 1, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    MSD was too generous, but should be commended for it. However, it shows England up for the disgrace that they are - in the same game Stuart Broad "checking" VVS's bat for Vaseline after HotSpot didn't say there was an edge.

  • Swami on August 1, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Dhoni had no choice really. If he had gone with his original appeal, it would have led to the usual brick throwing on India, BCCI, Dhoni, and so on by the baying websites and newspapers. And the stay in England for the whole team for the rest of the summer would have been distinctly unpleasant. Hats off to him for making a politically astute decision in a short space of time. "Playing the game hard" has different meanings for subcontinental teams and non-subcontinental teams. Thats the reality of world order and will remain so for some time.

  • V.Ramakrishnan on August 1, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Wiyhout a doubt,MSD is a sucker. As the captain,he should have known that England team deserves no consideration ,whatsoever. I wish to recall a test in India when Srikkanth steered the ball to point and came out of the crease to tap the pitch,when Emburey threw down the stumps and claimed the wicket. Srikkanth was given out and the England team were celebrating. They went on to caal Srikkanth stupid for not knowing the rule. When an England player is given out on technical grounds ,the whole world makes a hue and cry. Further,the statement of Vaughn that Laxman was cheating was totally out of place and it only shows the meanmindedness of England cricketers. Vaughn is a dirty old English player whose opinion should be consigned to the dustbin.

  • Amsats on August 1, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    I guess the next time a batsman gets out to reverse swing, the decision can be overturned due to spirit of the game - batsman was hoping for inswing but ended up facing an outswinger. How can Ian Beel make himself seem dumb in front of all the viewers? If he had slipped or so when running, that would have been different. But the point is he could very well known he was in trouble and hence tried to walk for tea. This is not school cricket, this is Test cricket... spirit of game etc. sounds very romantic, but people are playing to win.

  • Yousaf Ahmad on August 1, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Ian Bell is my favourite player in the England team (by the way i support neither England nor India), I cannot say a bad word about him but he was out and should have stayed out. Dhoni should have refused to let him back on the field. I cannot see the England management doing the same, the wouldn't even let Monty bowl at Sachin - so much for "Spirit of the game" there is no such thing left now....

  • tony on August 1, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Who is Andy flower ?? A average player, which lost match after match. His refusal to monty bowling at sachin, calling laxman a cheat stems from deep rooted jealously(sachin used to take his bro grant flower to cleaners everytime) Losers like Andy flower behave this way only.

  • Nigel Driffield on August 1, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    I agree with you on all points - and have just read your paper in sport & society. As ever there are inconsistencies. Numerous famous england batsmen from the 70s back to the golden age were famous "walkers" - most notably when they had got 100, but less so when they were on 0 and the score was 20/2. Ditto generations of australian captains who "always wait for the umpires decision" but are apoplectic if the opposition dont walk. However, I think they key issue in this case was the actions of the fielder. He did not seek to mislead, but did so. If the appeal was upheld, would it lead to a speight of fielders pretending it was 4, only to fling the ball in once the batsmen had gone walkabout?

  • Raj on August 1, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    What is Duncan Fletchers role in Dhoni withdrawing the appeal? Is he an English wolf among the Indian sheep?

  • Robert on August 1, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Do you not think, that in the spirit of the game Bell, (who admits he made a silly mistake) should have thanked the Indian team for their offer to withdraw the appeal but then asked them not to withdraw the appeal, showing that he has respect for the fact that it was his mistake. Batsmen make mistakes all the time and are often out as a result, he should not have been the exception.

    @David 6:22, the law states "fielding side", that is the collective, not a sngle player, clearly for the bails to be removed and the appeal to be asked the whole of the fielding side had not ceased to be treaing the ball as if it was still in play.

  • Jon on August 1, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Every story has two sides. Bell should not have left his crease, Dhoni should not have appealed in the first place. It was clear that Kumar felt that a boundary had been scored. There was a long pause before the ball was returned, by which time Kumar and both batsmen beleived the ball to be dead. The RIGHT decision was made. As for LBW decisions in this series, both teams have had bad calls. Think Tendulkar and Raina, both had to be dismissed twice in the 2nd Innings at Lord's due to poor calls, and Harbhajan in this match was clearly not out, plus others. If India had allowed DRS, all of these decisions would have been corrected.

  • Zaheer Illahi on August 1, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    This is total crap, A sports author teying to mske nsme for himself, what would you expect knowing only one philospher an treating him as fauvorite. The thing is Dhoni made a descision which we all Indians are proud of. I dont care if the English still Sledge anyone. The english are like this. Just remember Naseer Hussain Scoring a century at no 3 for England in the final of series with India and not to mention his abusive roars. Why we forget all that. They show the world that they are true gentlemen. But Look no ethics no manners, and I still cant understand ehat the author of this article is writing here. Ohh Comon I can write better than that.

  • tony on August 1, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    It does not matter wheather India will win or lose this match. But one thing got clear, India is true No. 1 at gameman ship , ODIs and test matches.

  • Nitin on August 1, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Spirit of the game would be upheld, If the players who are wrongfully given out by the umpires are called back to bat, it is not that difficult to do so with giant screens in every stadium these days. Indian team was within his right to appeal, as Bell had left his ground, neither had the umpire called it a tea, nor was it a dead ball, if at all someone made a mistake it was Ian Bell, wasn't he the same guy who threw jelly beans at Zaheer khan when India last travelled to England? Was that the spirit of the game? LOL

  • Kieran on August 1, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Dhoni was within his rights to appeal. He was also within his rights to withdraw it.

    From the POV of the second test, the withdrawal may have been wrong, but from the POV of history, the withdrawal will be remembered with a great deal of respect. Dhoni has gone up in my estimation as a man.

    And do please remember that the claim is that the Indian team were unanimous in withdrawing the appeal.

  • Mark Sheehan on August 1, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    I'm with you Samir. I thought I might try the following next Saturday:

    Dear Opposition Captain, I'm very sorry that I played such a silly, careless shot. It was a terrible mistake and one that I will not make again - in my haste to get to tea I just wafted at the ball outside off stump. I just wasn't concentrating. I have asked my captain to make a personal appeal on my behalf in that hope that you will reconsider. I ask you in to act in the spirit of the game to rescind your appeal for caught behind. Thanks, Mark

  • Bhargav on August 1, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Can't agree with you more my friend, exactly my views on this. The page 2 article in a satirical way also reflects this as well. If the spirit of the game so important, why did Strauss not call Harbhajan back? If it was so important, why did Broad "cheekily" check edges of Laxman's bat (how did he get to do this also should be investigated), why did KP argue with Laxman after being given not out by not only the on field, but also the third ump.

    Dhoni had already made it clear when he appealed that he wanted to appeal and get Bell out, so that decision should stand, no matter how much the crowd "boos". If we start overturning decisions like this, then where will it all end. Not only Dhoni, but the whole team can be called suckers.

    The modern game of cricket has evolved to be like this, so one must stick to the rules. Now the hotspot technology is being tested just because the Eng players thought Laxman was out, and they were calling us bullies. This is just going a bit too far.

  • Rashid Khan on August 1, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    There have been so many other instances of batsmen being out within the rules. One example is Inzamam run out when the ball was thrown at the wicket and he just blocked it with his bat. He was within the crease and could have easily grounded his bat instead, but the opposition appealed and he was given out. He looked silly but he didn't follow the rules. Cricket is all about following rules and Bell was out within the rules and he has played so much of cricket that he cannot use any excuse. What would Dhoni had done if it was a crunch time in a world cup ODI? Bell was out and that is that. Making excuses in the first place is childish. It reminds me of my childhood games on the streets when kids used to say - oh, I wasn't ready for the first ball or, oh, this was a try ball. Grow up England!!

  • Chip on August 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    The rules are there equally for everybody but the "spirit of the game" differs for each player depending on what he believes is right. That is why some walk and others don't. Some sledge, some don't. More importantly, one's principles should not be determined by what kind of cad your opponent is or isn't. The act is not toward an opponent but your belief about how the game should be played. What Dhoni was right, because he felt it was the right thing to do. It really doesn't matter if it is reciprocated or not.

  • Umashankar on August 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Well, the English have always maintained double standards...would Strauss have reaclled the player if he was in Dhoni's shoes?? i don't think so. Dhoni was a sucker as you have mentioned.....

  • Ankan on August 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Absolutely right.

  • PH on August 1, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Finally, you say "And the umpires on the ground, presumably well-versed with the laws of cricket, had given Bell out." I do not disagree that the umpires are well versed in the laws, and I am unwavering in my respect for the men in the middle, however umpires make mistakes. Always have, always will. Your choice to hide behind this phase marks the poor quality of the argument you have put forward.

    Anyhow, my feeling from watching the replays, is that the umpire should have called a dead ball. The laws state:

    "The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play."

    The fielder had given up on the ball being in play, the batsmen had given up on running, and the fielders were just willing around. At this point the umpire should - by the very letter of the law - have called the ball dead. It does not matter that SUBSEQUENTLY one player decides it is live again.

  • zermelo on August 1, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Beautiful, Samir. Test cricket after all is a game. We should only try to draw lessons on how to play cricket from it, not lessons on moral philosophy.

  • PH on August 1, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    make a cheap point. Why not choose to compare it to Strauss's decision to recall Angelo Matthews at the Wanderers? That would surely act to disprove your thesis that Dhoni was "gypped." And if you think this is some partisan feeling from an England fan recall the furore and disappointment amongst England fans and press when Colly refused to recall Grant Elliott. Perhaps also recall the grace with which Vetorri subsequently recalled Collingwood in a different game when run out by McCullem. In short, your concept that we have "Invoked the spirit of the game for this decision and this decision alone is ludicrous and hopelessly inconsistent" is demonstrably untrue.

  • Sandeep Patil on August 1, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    Completely agree...Dhoni wants to be a statesman and so did this...All Indian cricketers have a duty towards 1.2 Bn Indian people...so play well and don't make up for a worst day for India from the cricketing perspective in this tour by focusing on this issue!

  • dora on August 1, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    I agree with you sameer. Nice analysis.

  • PH on August 1, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    My apologies but the analysis in this article is poorly thought out - and no amount of quoting Aristotle will cover up for this. I sincerely hope (for I don't have time to go and read it) that your academic paper is of higher quality.

    Firstly: withdrawing an appeal because the umpires had made a bad decision, for instance a bump-ball catch, is not the signs of a true sportsman. To my mind, that is the very least we should expect of our sportspeople if they are not to be branded cheats.

    Secondly: The invocation of the Spirit of Cricket is neither ludicrous nor inconsistent. What has occurred is that a group of sportsmen have decided that a test match should be won or lost by cricketing prowess, not through misunderstanding and - by extension to the implications of this decision in the future - trickery.

    Thirdly: Comparing the grace of Dhoni with sledging, or with booing, or with the Monty Panesar incident is comparing apples with pears - I would argue purposefully so to try to

  • Anonymous on August 1, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Dhoni was bullied. Imperial slavery still persists in indians. Dhoni wanted the praise and approval of english.

  • felix on August 1, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    really good article...It was really silly of dhoni to recall bell...Bell was dumb. for god's sake, this is international cricket, not street cricket...i hope andrew strauss will declare soon in the spirit of the game...

  • Martin Jones on August 1, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Hi Samir

    Not all of us are so well acquainted with Aristotle. Mind explaining why "developed in the Nichomachean Ethics, Book 2. A read of that chapter might have been useful at Trent Bridge during the Ian Bell drama"?

    As you don't explain it (and equally as I don't know the text), it makes you look pompous and gives the impression that you wish to intellectualise yourself without providing firm evidence that you should/can do so. I am sure that's not what you want.

    Thanks

    PS For what its worth, Ian Bell was out and should have stayed out. The spirit of the game was nothing to do with this game, but the wider game with the implications of the wider game. The only reasont that Bell was recalled was because it was the end of a session. Bell was arrogant (and stupid) rather than anything else.

  • strategic_blunder on August 1, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @ Samir Chopra...Couldnt agree more with ya mate, it is setting up a dangerous moral precedent for the game. Going on this slippery-slope argument of being 'fair' to the batsmen, should swing bowlers stop hiding the ball position before the release? should bowlers stop setting up bluff fields?

    Wait, bowlers should go and ask politiely batsmen to get out so that it is completely fair. What twisted logic.

  • krishinoz on August 1, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    I cannot agree more with you I do not see a Ponting or Smith calling anyone back . Dhoni has been suckered WHY he did what he did I am not sure.

  • Bala Yugandar on August 1, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Samir-Thanks for not getting carried away by 'grace' crap that Mr.Bal talks about. This is a right royal cop out by MSD....it should be Mr. Bell who should be feeling silly, sheepish and squeamish. What about Broad checking VVS' bat for vaseline and Vaughan shamelessly insinuating the Laxman has cheated. Let's put a full stop to this confused spirit of cricket. Dhoni will remain a SUCKER even if gets a 200 in the 2nd gig!

  • B S Kumar on August 1, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Dhoni is a 'willing' sucker in this case. He is too smart to know there isn't much to get from this game, so why not get the higher moral ground? In any case, this is a depleted Indian side with many injury problems and constantly one bowler short. If anything, Dhoni wants to get on with the game and get whatever positives he can get while he grooms his team for the next series. Is he a gentleman? Absolutely. Is he a sucker? Definitely not. Watch how he puts his hands on the throat of the opposition when he knows he can win.

  • Shamentha Pillay on August 1, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    England have always been a team to fuss and moan about everything. It has to England's way or else everybody is against them. I recalll when Graeme Smith needed a runner and Strauss, with a huge grin, said no. I think he got what he so royally deserved by getting out for a duck. It's time these England boys start playing the game as they should. After all it is called a gentlemens game. However the day their batsmen walk will probably be when the sun actually comes out in summer.

  • Dynamo on August 1, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Bell made a basic error in leaving his ground before the ball was dead. He did so because he thought the ball was dead. Did the Indian fielders or the umpires contribute to this mistake? We should agree that it would be unsporting to a fielder to signal that the ball had reached the boundary before running a batsman out. So the issue of 'body language' is important. Nobody in the Indian side signalled that the ball had reached the boundary, but they did behave as if it had. Similarly, the umpires didn't call time, but the sweater was returned to the bowler. I have never seen this done before the ball became dead. So I don't agree that Dhoni was a sucker. He was well counselled to put himself on the right and generous side in a marginal situation. This was a noble gesture and all credit to him and his team.

  • Suresh Lalvani on August 1, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    Michael Vaughan & Mark Ramprakash appear to have implied that Ian Bell conned India.

    When Ian Bell realized he would be run out as he couldn't get back to his crease, he walked off for tea !.

  • anmol kalra on August 1, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    If Dhoni was upholding spirit of the game ; England & Bell could have gone a step ahead by accepting it was a Batsman mistake and not sending Bell post tea!!!!!

  • ALBERT GRAY on August 1, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    I think the author of this article forgot that Cricket is a PROFESSION of modern day ethics, and a modern day profession does not follow the Aristotelian Golden Means. This Golden Means though brought to make new laws of modern kind. That's why in a civilized society you do not a find a doctor working after business hours. Isn't it unethical? Yes, it’s all unethical based on all ethical theories of about 2000 yrs ago. Now a day a profession is encoded deeply by the respective laws and by-laws. And law does not follow common sense or the spirit of anything; rather it is governed by whatever is written in that law book.- sadly though.

    When a batsman is cleanly bold by a bowler, does a bowler need to appeal for Out? I leave this verdict to the author. This test match between India and England is based on money and cricketing rules. For this only reason anything concerning the match, for instance, runs, out, etc., should be followed by the cricketing rules involved, even its ugly!

    For this above mentioned reasons Ian Bell is a definite RUN OUT and the umpires were absolutely right. I would not call MS Dhoni a sucker, because that even does not sound right while we are talking about all ethical theories.

    If you had played this match without any monetary gain, MS Dhoni probably would not even think of appealing.

  • Zarir J Cama on August 1, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Absolutely correct - dhoni and the rest of the team capitulated to some typically clever English gamse manship . Will the English reciprocate ? not on your life . They bamboozled India for 150 years and did it again yesterday - and whose fault is that ? Certainly not Englands . this is a tough game out there and if India believes it's going to become a superpower then they better begin behaving like one !!

    And will Anderson pietersen et al behave any differently ? forget it !

  • Truemans_Ghost on August 1, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Since it has been mentioned here I would like to comment thatI thought it was hugely mean spirited of Flower to stop Monty netting with Sachin. Monty isn't in the team at present, is very unlikely to bowl at Tendulkar in the series, in fact will probably never bowl at him competitively ever again. There is not even a slow left armer in the England set up. There is no concievable disadvantage to England in Monty tossing up a few for Sachin, so what is gained by this?

  • Indian on August 1, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Dude its not a business deal to think about give and take. If the opposition team doesn't care about spirit of the game, it doesn't mean that you dont have to. Always do what you believe is RIGHT, don't let others actions influence you. Sorry to preach you, but you sound more like a kid who is not ready to share his toys with other kids.

  • Sujay on August 1, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    I was kinda lost reading this article... What is Sledging got to do what happened on the field last evening??? I guess most of us have got the meaning completely wrong when we say "keep the spirit of Cricket alive" haven't we? What happened on the field was an honest mistake by the batsmen, He did not try for the run, so why should he be given out? What happened last evening showed the true spirit of being Champions, not just Dhoni but the entire team management for changing the decision & continuing with the game. If anyone has anymore doubts then they can watch what Saurav Ganguly said suring that tea break... :)

  • Prataphjaan Apu Kamaljit Singh on August 1, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Dhoni was a sucker for sure

  • Narayanan on August 1, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    You almost got me agree with you - till you expressed your expectation on reciprocity. History will tell you English cricketers are neither gentlemen nor they would risk to hold "spirit" of the game. Andy Flower, Zimbabwean, depicts the "true" color (or the lack of) of the English cricketers.

    Look at Ian Bell's interview. He thinks he deserved to be called back without showing any remorse of his actions, his stupidity.

    Salute to Indian team. A true leader and well deserved to be #1. I hope they show their resolve in action tomorrow to turnaround this game.

  • Sumit on August 1, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    What a fooling act! We have some time before the year end,but dhoni is a serious contender for 'fool of the year'

  • Satish on August 1, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Very well said!! Is SLEDGING a SPIRIT OF GAME??

  • Satish Chandar on August 1, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Excellent article.. Even better than the English players, i would love to think the views of the English fans.. They were booing a team once and the next minute Bell returns, they applaud.. Have some heart folks.. What Bell did was the silliest thing to do in the entire world.. If running out a player who is careless is against spirit of the game, it wont work out in the global level.. You can play your backyard cricket in that sense.. What McCullum said was perfect.. If a guy who played cricekt for these many yrs dont know that Umpire need to declare tea bfr the players start walking off, then he dont deserve any mention.. And, as u pointed out, IS SLEDGING A SPIRIT OF THE GAME????

  • Ramanujam Chary on August 1, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Maybe this incident will lead the resurgence of playing cricket in good faith the way many of us grew up loving the game. MSD did not get bullied - he may lose the match, but he won the moral high ground here.

  • Mamajyot on August 1, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Brilliant.

    He was a sucker to walk. England will never do the same! They will sledge us, they will abuse us and we do accept it.

    Something must give.

  • Bismillah Momand on August 1, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    I think Samir is being too negative minded and pessimistic here. We all know its totally different to the LBW or Caught Behind appeals. This was too obvious a case near to cheating. It would have been a disgrace if Bell was not called back. I would go even to say that Dhoni made a mistake to make an appeal in the first stage itself. Thankfully he compensated for it by calling Bell back. He should not be given any credit for this.

  • Deepak Jain, China on August 1, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Yeah, Dhoni is a sucker. Not fit to be the leader. It is a show of weakness on his part.

  • Surya on August 1, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Dhoni made great decision but andrew strauss could have bring back harbhajan and flower should have allow monty to bowl sachin in nets. English are jelous of india success and also don't have sport spiritDhoni made great decision but andrew strauss could have bring back harbhajan and flower should have allow monty to bowl sachin in nets. English are jelous of india success and also don't have sport spirit

  • Ajinkya on August 1, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Totally agree with you, Samir. I think the Spirit of Cricket should apply only to situations where players have been unlucky, or are in a helpless situation through no fault of theirs, for eg a batsman running into a fielder by mistake and then being run-out. It should not apply to situations where players have been stupid, and Bell was being very stupid indeed when he left his crease thinking it was tea-time or a boundary before the umpire had signalled so. Dhoni was conned big time by Strauss and Flower.

  • swapnil on August 1, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    mahendra singh dhoni shows right character and a true sportsmanship irrespective to the situation of the match because india desperately need wicket at that time but then also he shows character

  • David on August 1, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Law 23.1(b) The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the umpire at the bowler's end that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.

    Kumar, Bell and Morgan's behaviour clearly showed that they did not regard the ball as in play. Open and shut.

  • Poora on August 1, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Agree. Well said.

  • Ravi on August 1, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Fantastic article. Dhoni is a sucker. The selective "spirit of the game" by Team Andy makes no sense. When Laxman was given not out by umpires after due review process, giving the batsman the benefit of the doubt. Team Andy decided to call Laxman a cheat and called into question the system as well as the umpire's decision making ability. It was well for Team Andy, within the spirit of the game!

  • Pratik on August 1, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    I believe the answers to the questions you posed at the end of the article will be a resounding "NO". Anderson's sledging wouldn't even matter. Great bowler, but sledges like a child. But the Englishmen wont give any quarters.

    May be Dhoni wasnt a sucker after all. A man failing with bat, without being too impressive behind the stumps, and being forced on the defensive due to injuries in the squad would only too gladly act sportingly to deflect the negative spotlight. In the past, he hasnt been above claiming bump catches. This sudden turn towards sportsmanship is more opportunistic at a personal level than anything else.

  • james on August 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    well said. i love cricket, but the spirit of cricket thing is a myth that vanishes with even a cursory glance at the history of the game. tobacco sponsorship, the murdoch dollar, rebel tours to south africa, insitutionalised racism for much of the 20th century... but occasionaly a batsman walks. cricket embodies just as much prejudice, venality and tribalism as any other sport. everyone needs to drop the sh**. im really dissapointed in strauss for even going to ask dohni to reconsider. im not sure dohni's a sucker; i just think he did the most politically astute thing he could. this would have followed him and india round for ages, all with a large serving of hypocrisy and wooly minded nonsense.

  • Nitin on August 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Spirit of the game is meant only for India, not anyone else. I Say in the spirit of the game, batsmen should not play reverse sweeps & captains should stop asking for DRS when umpire have given their decisions.

  • Ammar Zaheer on August 1, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Easily the most 'CRAPPIEST' piece of writing ever.

    What exactly is your point here? Do you want to somehow prove that two wrongs makes one right or something?

    What Dhoni did was commendable and it may well become the spark that is required to inculcate the "so called SPIRIT of cricket" in the game of cricket. If English ran Kris Srikanth out in 1981, that does not mean that Dhoni in 2011 comes up with the perfect revenge. And ofcourse i would not go into the details of the SAINT HOOD of Mr. Srikanth. 1989, given LBW to Imran Khan, Mr. Srikanth could do nothing but cry on the field and Imran, the man of principle, asked him to come back if he thought he was hard done by and What followed is what you call HISTORY. Yes, gone next ball

    What Walsh did was commendable, and everyone in the cricketing world applauds him for that and similarly everyone would be applauding the greatness shown by MS Dhoni for years to come.

    And thumbs up to the english crowd for giving him a standing ovation!

  • Dhanush on August 1, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Excellent question in the end. I too do not agree with MSD's decision. It was Ian Bell's stupidity, and not any bad sportsmanship.

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  • Dhanush on August 1, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Excellent question in the end. I too do not agree with MSD's decision. It was Ian Bell's stupidity, and not any bad sportsmanship.

  • Ammar Zaheer on August 1, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Easily the most 'CRAPPIEST' piece of writing ever.

    What exactly is your point here? Do you want to somehow prove that two wrongs makes one right or something?

    What Dhoni did was commendable and it may well become the spark that is required to inculcate the "so called SPIRIT of cricket" in the game of cricket. If English ran Kris Srikanth out in 1981, that does not mean that Dhoni in 2011 comes up with the perfect revenge. And ofcourse i would not go into the details of the SAINT HOOD of Mr. Srikanth. 1989, given LBW to Imran Khan, Mr. Srikanth could do nothing but cry on the field and Imran, the man of principle, asked him to come back if he thought he was hard done by and What followed is what you call HISTORY. Yes, gone next ball

    What Walsh did was commendable, and everyone in the cricketing world applauds him for that and similarly everyone would be applauding the greatness shown by MS Dhoni for years to come.

    And thumbs up to the english crowd for giving him a standing ovation!

  • Nitin on August 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Spirit of the game is meant only for India, not anyone else. I Say in the spirit of the game, batsmen should not play reverse sweeps & captains should stop asking for DRS when umpire have given their decisions.

  • james on August 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    well said. i love cricket, but the spirit of cricket thing is a myth that vanishes with even a cursory glance at the history of the game. tobacco sponsorship, the murdoch dollar, rebel tours to south africa, insitutionalised racism for much of the 20th century... but occasionaly a batsman walks. cricket embodies just as much prejudice, venality and tribalism as any other sport. everyone needs to drop the sh**. im really dissapointed in strauss for even going to ask dohni to reconsider. im not sure dohni's a sucker; i just think he did the most politically astute thing he could. this would have followed him and india round for ages, all with a large serving of hypocrisy and wooly minded nonsense.

  • Pratik on August 1, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    I believe the answers to the questions you posed at the end of the article will be a resounding "NO". Anderson's sledging wouldn't even matter. Great bowler, but sledges like a child. But the Englishmen wont give any quarters.

    May be Dhoni wasnt a sucker after all. A man failing with bat, without being too impressive behind the stumps, and being forced on the defensive due to injuries in the squad would only too gladly act sportingly to deflect the negative spotlight. In the past, he hasnt been above claiming bump catches. This sudden turn towards sportsmanship is more opportunistic at a personal level than anything else.

  • Ravi on August 1, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Fantastic article. Dhoni is a sucker. The selective "spirit of the game" by Team Andy makes no sense. When Laxman was given not out by umpires after due review process, giving the batsman the benefit of the doubt. Team Andy decided to call Laxman a cheat and called into question the system as well as the umpire's decision making ability. It was well for Team Andy, within the spirit of the game!

  • Poora on August 1, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Agree. Well said.

  • David on August 1, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Law 23.1(b) The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the umpire at the bowler's end that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.

    Kumar, Bell and Morgan's behaviour clearly showed that they did not regard the ball as in play. Open and shut.

  • swapnil on August 1, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    mahendra singh dhoni shows right character and a true sportsmanship irrespective to the situation of the match because india desperately need wicket at that time but then also he shows character

  • Ajinkya on August 1, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Totally agree with you, Samir. I think the Spirit of Cricket should apply only to situations where players have been unlucky, or are in a helpless situation through no fault of theirs, for eg a batsman running into a fielder by mistake and then being run-out. It should not apply to situations where players have been stupid, and Bell was being very stupid indeed when he left his crease thinking it was tea-time or a boundary before the umpire had signalled so. Dhoni was conned big time by Strauss and Flower.