Monday, 1 August 2011

My Take on the Bell Run-Out

I won't make this a long-winded thing because I know absolutely every cricket fan with access to the internet has already voiced their opinions on the incident already, but just because I can, here's my two cents worth.

Massive credit to India. They didn't have to repeal the appeal. With the game situation as it was, they knew just how important the wicket of Ian Bell would be, and in the laws of the game, they had taken it. It would have been easy for them to do nothing, or to argue that they'd done nothing wrong in whipping the bails off and appealing. From what we heard from Rahul Dravid, the whole team felt distinctly uneasy at getting the wicket that way, and the unanimous decision was made to recall Bell.

However, as sporting as India clearly were, England certainly didn't cover themselves in glory. Bell's celebrations when reaching 150 were, given the reprieve he'd been granted, a touch over-exuberant, and he seemed to show a tragic lack of self-awareness when not taking responsibility for his part in it in the interviews at the end. And Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss probably shouldn't have put pressure on the Indian dressing room to change the decision - at the end of the day it was completely up to India to decide and nothing to do with Strauss or Flower.

We all know the whole situation could have been avoided had Ian Bell simply waited for some sort of signal from the umpires, or for the ball to be thrown in from the boundary. However, once he didn't do that, India were well within their rights to knock the bails off, and the umpires were totally correct in giving him out. There's no denying that Bell was certainly very foolish, and the way he argued his way out of the situation rather than holding his hands up and admitting his error didn't look brilliant. However, the odd situation shouldn't take away from a fine innings - one of the best we'll see in test cricket this year, and what could be a match-winning one.

All in all, while the ICC statement praises one side, only one has come out of this in credit. India, who lest we forget are the number one side in the world, certainly set the benchmark for the way cricket should be played, and for that, they should be applauded from the rooftops. The spirit of cricket, in some quarters at least, is certainly alive and well.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the whole thing live. I wouldn't criticise Bell for his action at the time - you see batsmen turn and walk immediately at the end of a session more often than not. But my instant reaction after tea was unease - I felt the sporting riposte to India's retraction would have been to give his wicket away.

    Ian G.