By Ashish Shukla
Nottingham: Aug 1, 2011
Saved by India’s decision to withdraw its run-out appeal to uphold the spirit of the game, England batsman Ian Bell said it was “naive and stupid” on his part to walk off the crease, assuming that tea break had been taken on day three of the second Test.
“It was being naive on my part to assume the ball was dead and walk off for tea, it was stupid,” stated Bell whose stupendous 159 was overshadowed by the run-out drama at the stroke of tea yesterday.
Bell was controversially given run out when he left the crease after completing a run, assuming that the ball was dead and tea had been called.
The batsman was, however, called back after the Indian team, in a fine gesture, withdrew its appeal.
“Morgan had clipped one off his pads right down to the boundary, the fielder had dived, it looked like having gone for four, the fielders body-language suggested so. I had touched down for the third (run) and turned and saw Asad (umpire Asad Rauf) pull out the jumper and looked like he was going to hand it over to the bowler,” Bell said.
“My initial reaction was naive and to walk off for tea. I walked up to Morgan. I wasn’t attempting a run and everything was meandering towards walking off for tea. It wasn’t until we reached the boundary ropes, we realised something had changed.”
“We felt something was going on. But not thinking it involved us. We were waiting to understand. Even then it was a shock (when I was given out).”
Bell revealed that it was at the very last moment that he was told he could resume his innings.
“It was at the very last minute. Prior had padded up to go. There was this last-minute knock on the door that I could go out and bat. After the captains and coaches had met, India had got back to us.”
The batsman said he learnt a lesson from yesterday’s incident.
“I’ve learnt a big lesson. In the end, the right decision was made by both teams. The way they handled the situation was fantastic. It was an honest mistake and the right decision was made.”
“Players from the England balcony were clapping the Indian team. Hopefully, we can now move forward. It was one of my best innings under pressure. I did it against the Indian team who are world’s number one and have great players not just in batting but also in bowling. It’s been a massive contest, we have played some really hard cricket.”
“I made this hundred under pressure and it’s great example that I am definitely going in right direction as far as Test cricket is concerned.”
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the two umpires, Rauf and Marias Erasmus, had asked the Indian team if it wanted to withdraw the appeal.
The Indians did withdraw the appeal but not immediately.
They did so after the coaches and captains had met and a discussion had taken place among the players.