I only got to know of the “Ian Bell run-out incident” itself when I got onto the Cricinfo mobile site.
Yes, the incident is unfortunate and did bring back memories of a match in 2006, when Baz McCullum took off the bails when Murali completed his run and then went to congratulate his batting partner, Sangakkara, on having reached his century. He failed to notice that the ball hadn’t been returned back to Baz. Everyone appealed and it was given out and Fleming didn’t bother revoking his decision to appeal. That dismissal cost us a fair bit as Murali was providing good support to Sanga,who would’ve stretched our lead further to ensure that the Lankan bowlers had more to bowl to in the final innings of the match.
It was the same here, except that Bell had packed in his gloves to go have his hot cuppa tea.
However, this incident was worse because there was the clear egging by Morgan, who has always displayed himself as a very street-smart player, to get back to his crease, all of which went unheeded by Bell.
The umpires asked Dhoni whether he wanted to keep the appeal on, to which he replied in the affirmative.
However, what makes this whole “recalling Ian Bell” incident farficial is this.
Did they really have to be a pair of babies to go and ask Dhoni to return the toys which he stole from them?
Naturally, Dhoni wouldn’t have wanted to be cowered by the demand made by the two, so he said that he wanted to discuss it with the team. The booing by the crowds, as well as the possible negative opinions which may have been formed of him (as if bad publicity about the preparation for the tour wasn’t hard enough to handle), would’ve persuaded him to overturn his appeal.
Besides, how bad would it look if, despite a personal appeal, he didn’t revoke his decision? People might even go to the extent of misconstruing it as disrespect for the two Andys.
Therefore, enough with the praises from the ECB and the ICC about how “the spirit of cricket was upheld by the two teams”.
There was much more at stake for both teams than the Spirit of Cricket (it eventually proved to be less for England as Bell added a further 22 runs before actually getting out), so they decided to revoke it. I don’t think no-one’s conscience felt the pinch!
So, get over it, everyone, and focus on the great batting display being provided by the Englishmen!