England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day August 1, 2011

Dhoni's move should set an example - Strauss


Andrew Strauss hopes that MS Dhoni's gesture to allow Ian Bell to resume his innings following the controversial run-out, at tea on the third day at Trent Bridge, will prompt other captains to uphold the spirit of cricket.

The series threatened to descend into acrimony when Bell was given out the last ball before the interval, when he started to walk off the field before 'over' was called having thought he'd scored a boundary. He admitted to being naive and stupid, but India themselves had concerns about the situation as they met in the dressing room and were in deep discussion before Strauss and Andy Flower asked them to reconsider.

"It was very commendable that they changed their mind and took back the appeal," Strauss said. "It's one of those circumstances where there are always shades of grey but I think it was good for the game of cricket. In years to come it will be looked upon as a step in the right direction for the game of cricket and hopefully other people will follow those decisions.

"I think one of the things that has set the game of cricket slightly apart from other sports is that you have the opportunity to show some spirit. It's good for the game of cricket going forward and therefore the game of cricket is the better for it."

Strauss has been involved in recalling a batsman to the crease when he allowed Angelo Mathews to resume after he was given run-out following a collision during a Champions Trophy match in 2009. He agreed that, by the Laws, Bell was run-out although he felt that the fact that he wasn't trying to take another run was a factor in his defence.

"When it first happened there was a lot of confusion, and myself and Andy went down to the umpire's room as we just wanted to clarify the situation as regards to the Laws of the game," Strauss said. "We were entirely comfortable that in the strict rules of the game Ian was out. [But] we felt that it was pretty clear that he was just walking off for tea and wasn't attempting a run and so we asked India to reconsider their appeal and then left it at that."

Dhoni confirmed that the Indians had reservations about the dismissal which "didn't feel right" and took the chance to say that more could be done by the game as a whole to uphold the spirit of cricket which he felt wasn't being applied consistently.

"We weren't feeling good at heart," he said. "A similar kind of incident happened in West Indies when VVS Laxman got stumped. After we took the decision we were really satisfied. There are a lot of things where spirit of cricket should be followed. It needs to be equal but it's about what we feel as a team is important.

"If a fielder takes a one-bounce catch he's called a cheat but if a batsman stands after nicking it he isn't," Dhoni added. "Going up to a batsman and swearing isn't in the spirit of cricket. We've seen quite a few things happen. If you want to follow you should follow it 100%."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Dhoni make a good turn . No matter whats the result of the match. what happened with India. Matter is that Dhoni's make a riy=te decesion. i am with you Dhoni

  • Wala on August 3, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Come on Dhoni, what is more important? Your reputation or the team result. What ever the Englishmen say, you should know better that they have double standards when it is close to victory.

  • Naveed on August 2, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    at least indians got something to praise their team

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    In the first innings of the second test match Harbhajan Singh was given out LBW by the umpire when replays clearly showed he edged the ball unto his pads. Stuart Broad and the English team went on to celebrate his hat trick which included a blatantly wrong decision. Where was the spirit of the game then? Andrew Strauss saw the replays and so did all the players on the field along with the management of the English Cricket team. But it was not in the spirit of the game then to withdraw the appeal and prevent Harbhajan and by extension the Indian team from being penalized with an atrocious umpiring decision. Where is the logic? Where is the consistency? By the rules of the game, Bell is out, but the manner of his dismissal is deemed not to be in the spirit of the game so the decision is overturned and he keeps on batting. On the other hand Harbhajan is not out but somehow there is no spirit of the game argument that entitles him to justice. Strauss, Dhoni... are you guys for real?

  • Eoin on August 2, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    It was all just so stupid. England have been so ruthless in their recent games, even against India themselves at lords. Why would India give them a helping hand? Why would they feul that ruthlessness? Why would you help them beat you Dhoni? Pardoning Bell on the basis of his own clumsiness/stupidity, in the bad situation India were in already, and then (ICC) painting it over with a large tub of 'spirit of the game' lard made me sick.

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    It was clear through TV replay,Bell was thinking of the 4th run clearly ,and he took a initial step towards it by jogging,but he then after presumed it to be a four and then walked away for the tea without coming back in his crease which was against the rule. The only reason I see Dhoni calling him back is that he wanted to earn some respect through this which he is unable to earn with his batting ,captaincy and even keeping.

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    Well on one ever will overturning a decision like the one which Dhoni did in near future. If the cricket rules book says it is out then why to overturn. Bell is not on 99 to get disappointed or his wicket made England lose the game. Instead it has ruined Indian team chances of restricting England. Whatever I do not appreciate this gesture at all. Bell simple ran for the 4th ran and Morgan said no. Then he suddenly stopped and instead of going back to his crease, he simple walked towards the other end. It is carelessness and no need of showing any sympathy for such mistakes.

  • kumar on August 2, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Not just Dhoni but whole team has decided to reverse the appeal. Don't make him hero and zero next. Let him be a captain of India. Infact looks like Sachin's involvement made Dhoni to change his mind on bell's run-out appeal. What ever good move from team India.

  • Srinivas on August 2, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    I beg to differ. I don't think others will follow this or remember this for long. If they were to follow or remember, then why was Vishy's gesture forgotten, that too, by players of the same country that were the original beneficiaries? But since the media is that much stronger in cricket now, this gesture might be noted for that much longer and hopefully forever. Strauss and I can dream as much as we want to about spirit. But at the heat of the moment, nobody remembers for what it is worth. Apologise as much as the mean spirited cricketers might want to, later in the press, or on TV, but the mean spirited act was committed beyond recall. Ain't it Colly, McCullum etc etc.....????

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    if the honorable decision..

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