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
  shares 32

"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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY drdatla on | August 4, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    when srikkanth batted defensively n wentout of the crease to pat the pitch in his debut test the english didnot have any qualms in running him out.they even joked aboyt his foolishness.different standards for differnt teams. raghav

  • POSTED BY AdnanSiddiqui on | August 2, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Imran Khan did the same gesture against India in 1999..Srikanth was given LBW by the umpire, so there was not doubt about the decision...Srikanth didn't look happy with the decision..Imran going beyond his jurisdiction, against umpire's decision...let Srikanth return to the pitch and got his fate on the next ball. It can be viewed at this link>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=toFIXXkpgMo

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Fraz, Inzi did not even complete the run! And he used his bat to stop the ball! The ball was thrown to hit the stumps!

    Different scenerio, please do not compare!

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    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."

  • POSTED BY HemanthReddyYalla on | August 2, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Really it was a great move byM.S.DHONI.Almost everyone praised the Indian captain.But it was the England cricketer,Ian Bell,who actually should have had accepted that he was out.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Hats off to MS Dhoni and team India for showing great gesture to recall Ian Bell on the crease by taking back the run out appeal. Nothing taking back from Team India, but I recall the same respectable gesture was not shown twice against Inzimam ul Haq. At that time he was not taking run but he was protecting his body against a wild throw when he was in the crease. Once he was jumped in the air inside the crease. Those two run out decisions were shocked for any cricketer.

  • POSTED BY Andrew0000 on | August 2, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    I think Dhoni did the right thing i.e. he asserted the legal position by appealing and then reversed it during the break to avoid bringing the game into disrepute.

    My view is that the rules should be such that players and captains are never (or as little as possible) required to make those judgement calls in the heat of the moment when the implications of those decisions can have a long lasting impact on the game.

    I think the rules should expressly state that confusion, ignorance etc shall not absolve a player from being dismissed and that the opposition side should not be required to consider recalling the batsman etc. That way the lawmakers make the judgement call on what is considered to be in the spirit of the game and the fielding side is not called upon to make that moral decision and can focus on playing cricket, which is what they are there to do. Hopefully this would avoid players and teams becoming pariahs for following the laws of the game to the letter.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    I think it is childish that English coach+captain went to Indian dressing room asking them to reconsider their appeal. Bell made an error and he should be out. Why ask the opposition to change their appeal if your batsman has made an error? Isn't that simple? Besides English were not that sporting when they appealed for Inzamam to be run out when taking evasive action to avoid the ball hitting him. Typical English mentality: " whatever we do is right and what other do is wrong".

  • POSTED BY nz_malc on | August 2, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Funny how the tables have turned. I don't recall England withdrawing their appeal after running out Grant Elliot in an ODI against NZ a few years ago after the bowler knocked him over as he was running between the wickets. Double standards methinks.

    Well done Dhoni. I have a lot of respect for him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    I think it is childish that English coach+captain went to Indian dressing room asking them to reconsider their appeal. Bell made an error and he should be out. Why ask the opposition to change their appeal if your batsman has made an error? Isn't that simple? Besides English were not that sporting when they appealed for Inzamam to be run out when taking evasive action to avoid the ball hitting him. Typical English mentality: " whatever we do is right and what other do is wrong".

  • POSTED BY drdatla on | August 4, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    when srikkanth batted defensively n wentout of the crease to pat the pitch in his debut test the english didnot have any qualms in running him out.they even joked aboyt his foolishness.different standards for differnt teams. raghav

  • POSTED BY AdnanSiddiqui on | August 2, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    Imran Khan did the same gesture against India in 1999..Srikanth was given LBW by the umpire, so there was not doubt about the decision...Srikanth didn't look happy with the decision..Imran going beyond his jurisdiction, against umpire's decision...let Srikanth return to the pitch and got his fate on the next ball. It can be viewed at this link>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=toFIXXkpgMo

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Fraz, Inzi did not even complete the run! And he used his bat to stop the ball! The ball was thrown to hit the stumps!

    Different scenerio, please do not compare!

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    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."

  • POSTED BY HemanthReddyYalla on | August 2, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Really it was a great move byM.S.DHONI.Almost everyone praised the Indian captain.But it was the England cricketer,Ian Bell,who actually should have had accepted that he was out.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Hats off to MS Dhoni and team India for showing great gesture to recall Ian Bell on the crease by taking back the run out appeal. Nothing taking back from Team India, but I recall the same respectable gesture was not shown twice against Inzimam ul Haq. At that time he was not taking run but he was protecting his body against a wild throw when he was in the crease. Once he was jumped in the air inside the crease. Those two run out decisions were shocked for any cricketer.

  • POSTED BY Andrew0000 on | August 2, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    I think Dhoni did the right thing i.e. he asserted the legal position by appealing and then reversed it during the break to avoid bringing the game into disrepute.

    My view is that the rules should be such that players and captains are never (or as little as possible) required to make those judgement calls in the heat of the moment when the implications of those decisions can have a long lasting impact on the game.

    I think the rules should expressly state that confusion, ignorance etc shall not absolve a player from being dismissed and that the opposition side should not be required to consider recalling the batsman etc. That way the lawmakers make the judgement call on what is considered to be in the spirit of the game and the fielding side is not called upon to make that moral decision and can focus on playing cricket, which is what they are there to do. Hopefully this would avoid players and teams becoming pariahs for following the laws of the game to the letter.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    I think it is childish that English coach+captain went to Indian dressing room asking them to reconsider their appeal. Bell made an error and he should be out. Why ask the opposition to change their appeal if your batsman has made an error? Isn't that simple? Besides English were not that sporting when they appealed for Inzamam to be run out when taking evasive action to avoid the ball hitting him. Typical English mentality: " whatever we do is right and what other do is wrong".

  • POSTED BY nz_malc on | August 2, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Funny how the tables have turned. I don't recall England withdrawing their appeal after running out Grant Elliot in an ODI against NZ a few years ago after the bowler knocked him over as he was running between the wickets. Double standards methinks.

    Well done Dhoni. I have a lot of respect for him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    I think it is childish that English coach+captain went to Indian dressing room asking them to reconsider their appeal. Bell made an error and he should be out. Why ask the opposition to change their appeal if your batsman has made an error? Isn't that simple? Besides English were not that sporting when they appealed for Inzamam to be run out when taking evasive action to avoid the ball hitting him. Typical English mentality: " whatever we do is right and what other do is wrong".

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | August 2, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Mr Shivajimathur- you are very selective in your examples. Can you remind you one Mr Imran Khan in the famous Pak West indies series in West Indies when both where vying for no 1 slot. Real no 1. Desmond Haynes was called back when he had hardly scored and wen ton to score 170+!. Also same captain aina llowed Srikkanth back in . sorry name spelling may not be right. Bothese decsions where from position of strenght and were not as a result of oppostion knowcking on your changing room door!t

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | August 2, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    mritjunai, i totally agree with your my friend. i am cricketer myself and i can tell you this descion to re instate Bell was done from a position of weakness and sets damgerous precedent. also spirit becomes an issue when ever it involves one side!!! They thmeselves never apply it.

  • POSTED BY Kewal999 on | August 2, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    @Chris_P: If Dhoni would have stuck to the appeal, you would have said the BCCI pressurised the ECB into not mentioning the spirit of Cricket blah.. blahs. Now when India showed excellent spirit, you say he was pressurised into it. Get your thinking straight before writing comments. I really do not know what you guys deserve.

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | August 2, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    What I am wondering about is that the former england captains en masse seem to be saying that Bell was wrong and they wouldnt have recalled him. If Dhoni did not recall Bell I wonder then if they would have used the same stand....

  • POSTED BY boldspin on | August 2, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    It wouldn't have been wrong if bell was not recalled. But then it would have been just another incident, an unsavoury one. By doing what he did Dhoni has made it to be an example to follow. Also underlying the fact that however high the stakes may be, after all its just a Game. Well done Dhoni....

    And yes India did not lose because of this generosity, they lost because they played damn bad cricket. So recalling Bell was definetly the right thing, Just hope they show some right move on the field as well. Play Good Cricket.

  • POSTED BY Fraz_1982 on | August 2, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    What about Inzamam's run outs against England and India respectively??!?!? It seems that such Grand gestures are selectively practiced. In any event, it was good to see the application of a common sense approach to cricket. Well done MSD.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    After KP sledging VVS in the same match Indians yielding to pressure is nonsense. Secondly England begging the decision to be reversed is a shame. KP got VVS out by sledging. KP should not play the next two Tests.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | August 1, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    I wouldn't have had any issues had MS not recalled him. He is captaining his national team, working out tactics, wicket keeping and batting. I don't see being an umpire as part of his responsibilities. Bell said he has learnt a lesson. It would have stuck longer had he been given out. Have you seen Dhoni withdraw appeals for a catch that may not have hit the bat or glove? Of course not. He got pressured into it, simple as that.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    What else can India display other than spirit of the game? They are not playing good cricket anyway.

  • POSTED BY RAJ_MI09 on | August 1, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    It wouldn't have mattered as far as the final outcome of the match was concerned. It'd have emotionally tough to handle both, a heavy trashing in the match and media criticism for the Bell's run out. So India saved some PR by doing this. However, none of the other team would have done this including Strauss, Smith, and definitely not Ponting- that's one of the major reason they stayed at the top for so long- for their shrewdness.

  • POSTED BY Ralph007 on | August 1, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    Dhoni you are a great spotsman and like always you have played in the spirit of the game............great man....

  • POSTED BY kancnaic on | August 1, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Dhoni had already known that England had won the match.So there was no any special in his decision.He has to blame himsilf for his another decision of putting India to field first and let England batsmen to play their natural game in both matches

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    I was watching a news show on a news channel wherein Mr. Bishen Bedi raised a question "I want to know who is the captain ? M.S. Dhoni, the crowd or the media. He added that "If the captain has made a decision we should all respect that." I agree with him. There were also another person, who is not a cricketer and I was very sure today that he had never holded a cricket bat in his life, was screaming "I disagree with Dhoni. Why he had to changed the decision in the dressing room" (He might have thought that the dressing room was referred to his apartment's one) Who is he or others to decide what Dhoni should do or not. Its Dhoni who is the captain and he has got full right to make his choices . Moreover the decision was a teams decision not Dhoni's alone.

  • POSTED BY blondblackberry on | August 1, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    don't talk ab't sportsmanship with dhoni he is way ahead.believe it or not csk his club in ipl has won spirit of cricket award in 3 out of 4 times with one time in the second place.so, there is no doubt ab't his sportsmanship along with organising as a well behaved team.

  • POSTED BY mritunjai on | August 1, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I think every player has the right to play in his own way. Ricky Ponting has played the game by the rules and has always played to win. If every player has to be expected to play by the spirit then we wont have the umpires and batsmen wont wait for umpire's decision after nicking the ball. Please stop criticizing a great player like Ricky Ponting when Indians choked to face a booing crowd.

  • POSTED BY Saadi69 on | August 1, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Not the first captain to do so. I remember Steve Waugh reinstating Sherwin Campbell after he was run out after colliding with Brendon Julian, Imran Khan reinstated sreekanth after he was LBW to Waqar but did not look pleases with the decision(Waqar bowled him later on), Hansie cronje reinstated Ganguly after he collided with Fanie de villiers.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    U r playing international cricket and the competition and fight is indeed very tough,there is no room for sportsmanspirit in such decisions.It was a mistake by bell and should have been out,i dont agree with dhoni at all

  • POSTED BY cricowl on | August 1, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    I am proud about what Dhoni did. It also shows a great shift from the days of Australian dominance when the champions believed everything but in the spirit of the game

  • POSTED BY shivajimathur on | August 1, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    No comments yet from Ricky Pointing on the Bell Run-out issue, or has Warne filled the bill for all Australian cricketers thinking. Gundappa Vishwanath - you yourself have shown historic decision of recalling a batsman yourself while there was no break around. I remember Kapil was also treated as a sportsman in a few cases. But where are the other Captains of the world to be sighted for examplary sportsmanspirit, especially, Mr Ricky Pointing.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | August 1, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Tony Greig these days sees everything through the angle of the BCCI. On his twitter, and everywhere else. Didn't miss out even on this occasion.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Proud of you Mahi.... cheers.....

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Swanny is an absolute top bloke! To come up with a comment like this even during these dark times! Hahah..

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  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Swanny is an absolute top bloke! To come up with a comment like this even during these dark times! Hahah..

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Proud of you Mahi.... cheers.....

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | August 1, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Tony Greig these days sees everything through the angle of the BCCI. On his twitter, and everywhere else. Didn't miss out even on this occasion.

  • POSTED BY shivajimathur on | August 1, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    No comments yet from Ricky Pointing on the Bell Run-out issue, or has Warne filled the bill for all Australian cricketers thinking. Gundappa Vishwanath - you yourself have shown historic decision of recalling a batsman yourself while there was no break around. I remember Kapil was also treated as a sportsman in a few cases. But where are the other Captains of the world to be sighted for examplary sportsmanspirit, especially, Mr Ricky Pointing.

  • POSTED BY cricowl on | August 1, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    I am proud about what Dhoni did. It also shows a great shift from the days of Australian dominance when the champions believed everything but in the spirit of the game

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    U r playing international cricket and the competition and fight is indeed very tough,there is no room for sportsmanspirit in such decisions.It was a mistake by bell and should have been out,i dont agree with dhoni at all

  • POSTED BY Saadi69 on | August 1, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Not the first captain to do so. I remember Steve Waugh reinstating Sherwin Campbell after he was run out after colliding with Brendon Julian, Imran Khan reinstated sreekanth after he was LBW to Waqar but did not look pleases with the decision(Waqar bowled him later on), Hansie cronje reinstated Ganguly after he collided with Fanie de villiers.

  • POSTED BY mritunjai on | August 1, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I think every player has the right to play in his own way. Ricky Ponting has played the game by the rules and has always played to win. If every player has to be expected to play by the spirit then we wont have the umpires and batsmen wont wait for umpire's decision after nicking the ball. Please stop criticizing a great player like Ricky Ponting when Indians choked to face a booing crowd.

  • POSTED BY blondblackberry on | August 1, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    don't talk ab't sportsmanship with dhoni he is way ahead.believe it or not csk his club in ipl has won spirit of cricket award in 3 out of 4 times with one time in the second place.so, there is no doubt ab't his sportsmanship along with organising as a well behaved team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    I was watching a news show on a news channel wherein Mr. Bishen Bedi raised a question "I want to know who is the captain ? M.S. Dhoni, the crowd or the media. He added that "If the captain has made a decision we should all respect that." I agree with him. There were also another person, who is not a cricketer and I was very sure today that he had never holded a cricket bat in his life, was screaming "I disagree with Dhoni. Why he had to changed the decision in the dressing room" (He might have thought that the dressing room was referred to his apartment's one) Who is he or others to decide what Dhoni should do or not. Its Dhoni who is the captain and he has got full right to make his choices . Moreover the decision was a teams decision not Dhoni's alone.