August 1, 2011

'Dhoni transformed from villain to hero in seconds'

Former players and writers take up the cudgels for and against the issue surrounding Ian Bell's reprieve at Trent Bridge

"It was very naive of me to assume the ball was dead. I didn't hear the umpire call 'over'. To walk off for tea was stupid. I have learned a lot of lessons."
A contrite Ian Bell says it was his mistake

"Bell would be having tea now."
To Ravi Shastri, the batsman should have been given out without the unnecessary drama that followed

"I think if there were more captains like Dhoni you could get back to the days of the phrase, 'It's just not cricket.' He's set an example for the other captains."
Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain admires Dhoni's decision

"If it was me I'd have run him out and let him think long and hard about remaining in his crease until the ball is dead while sitting on the balcony watching others score the runs he should have."
No spirit of cricket nonsense for former England allrounder Ian Botham

"Dhoni did a great job by recalling Bell to bat after tea. According to law, Bell was rightly given out but he never intended to take the fourth run. It shows a great spirit from the Indian team."
Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, applauds India's generosity

"On behalf of the ECB I wish to express the England and Wales Cricket Board's grateful thanks to the BCCI and the India team."
The ECB chief executive David Collier is relieved not to be dealing with a diplomatic incident

"All I can say is, thankfully it was the Indian players who had to make the call not the BCCI!"
Former England captain Tony Greig has a dig at the power usually wielded by Indian cricket

"There are times when it's your inner call that tells you what is right. I really appreciate Dhoni's decision to call Bell back."
Former India captain Gundappa Viswanath backs Dhoni

"Ian Bell was being very casual, almost careless, walking off before a definitive call from umpire for boundary or tea and deserved to be out."
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar would have preferred the law to have applied here

"The big issue about 'the run out that wasn't' hasn't been mentioned yet. I had already started a cheese sandwich, so it was definitely tea."
While everyone else shouts and screams, cricket's funnyman Graeme Swann solves the knobbly problem with perfect logic

"There is no black and white here. We all feel warm and fuzzy, but Ian Bell has learned a good lesson - don't be dozy."
Shane Warne would have been happy with whichever way MS Dhoni would have chosen to go

"It wouldn't have been nice if it happened to one of our batsmen, and when you see it on TV, probably the right thing was done."
Rahul Dravid puts himself in Bell's shoes

"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. "
Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, puts himself in Dhoni's shoes

"Dhoni transformed from dastardly villain to sporting hero in seconds. Hurrah for him and for Test cricket. What human activity comes close?"
British actor Stephen Fry relishes the drama of the occasion

"It's a strong statement to captains around the world to play a certain way. If spirit of cricket existed you wouldn't have half the appeals."
Television commentator Harsha Bhogle wants others to follow Dhoni's example