The drama started with the last ball before the afternoon tea break on second day of the second test match between World Champions, India, and England. Eoin Morgan (English batsman born in Ireland), hit what he thought was four runs (as he thought the ball went over the boundary – some 50 yards away)………………………………………
Indian fielder, Praveen Kumar actually fell over the boundary while stopping the ball from touching the boundary rope. He got up slowly and casually threw the ball back to the wicket keeper. The two English batsmen had run three runs but now thought they had actually scored a four, so the second batsman, Bell, grounded his bat, turned and walked towards the pavilion for afternoon tea. At which point the Indian wicket keeper caught the ball at Bell’s end and knocked the bails off shouting the traditional appeal ‘How’s that?’ to the umpire. Bell was out!
The third umpire was called in as the two English batsman stood by the boundary. The dismissal was confirmed. Bell was definitely out. The crowd booed.
During the tea break, the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, discussed the decision with his team and decided to withdraw their appeal so that Bell could be re-instated.
“In a game that has become increasingly dishonourable at times it required an honourable act by India’s captain and his team to enable Bell to complete an innings that appeared to have been curtailed by his own doziness” Mike Selvey, Guardian Newspaper.
Ian Bell: “It was the right decision for the spirit of the game. 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.”
Senior Indian batsman, Rahu Dravid said “it was the right thing to do. If that had happened to one of our guys we would have felt disappointed. The original decision was right in the laws of the game but not in the spirit of the game. Dhoni (the captain) had a team meeting and there was a unanimity in the decision.”
England and Wales cricket board chief executive, David Collier said “the withdrawal of a valid appeal at the tea interval was made in the spirit of cricket by the Indian team and demonstrates the true spirit in which the game of cricket should be played…”
Point Of Information: If England beat the World No. 1 team, India, in this four test match series and given that Ireland beat England in the most recent World Cup, does this make Ireland the Number one cricket team in the world?