Cricket-Bell admits he was naive in runout furore

Reuters

Sun, 31 Jul 21:31:00 2011

England batsman Ian Bell accepted the blame for a bizarre runout controversy against India which threatened to create a feud between the teams on the third day of the second test at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

"I've learned a lot of lessons, I admit I was very na´ve," Bell told reporters. "I won't ever do that again. I've got to take some blame. To walk off for tea was very naive, a bit stupid."

Bell scored 159 to put England in command, but was run out on 137 when he believed it was the tea break. The Indians felt the game was still live and took off the bails while he was out of his crease.

After some deliberation between the umpires, who strictly followed the laws of the game, Bell was given out much to the displeasure of the 15,000 crowd and the England team.

England captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower approached their Indian counterparts during tea to ask if they wanted to reverse their appeal. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni agreed after consulting his team.

Bell referred to a one-day international against New Zealand when England bowler Ryan Sidebottom obstructed Kiwi batsman Grant Elliott, who was subsequently run out.

England captain Paul Collingwood chose not to recall Elliott after being given the chance, a decision Bell said the team had got wrong.

There were reports on Sunday night that India were twice offered the chance to recall Bell before they walked off for tea but refused. India player Rahul Dravid, who was off the field during the incident, said he was not aware there had been any such offers.

"If you look at the laws of the game and adhere to them strictly, then probably he was out," Dravid told reporters.

"But just in the spirit of the game it didn't feel right and Dhoni and the team felt the right thing to do was to ask him to bat again.

"Once he was out and we came back in for tea, the discussion started in the dressing room and you could sense there was a feeling that, while it was in the laws of the game, it probably wasn't in the spirit of the game."

Dravid said a stumping off India batsman VVS Laxman during the recent West Indies tour, when he was in his crease but had inadvertently raised a foot while the bails were taken off, helped India reach their decision at Trent Bridge.

"The stumping of Laxman in the West Indies left a little bit of a bitter taste in our stomachs," Dravid said.

"When it happens to one of your guys, well if the tables were turned, I don't think our guys would have felt nice about it. That was one of the themes that was being discussed when we came in, what if it was one of our guys?"

Bell added it was frustrating that his naivety had overshadowed one of his best hundreds for England.

"It will be nice if the hundred can be remembered as a good one against a very good side rather than for anything else. The run out wasn't a great moment but hopefully we can move forward," he said.

 

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