Bell decision reversed due to ICC directive

Ian Bell was allowed to resume his innings by the umpires as the Indian captain agreed to reverse his appeal after tea on Sunday Getty Images

Mumbai: Aug 1, 2011

The ICC has in the past sent a circular to all the umpires not to be disruptive and adamant about sticking to the laws of the game if captains and teams wished to uphold its spirit.

This was the reason England’s Ian Bell was allowed to resume his innings after tea on Sunday in the second Test against India at Trent Bridge after India decided to withdraw a successful appeal for a run out before the interval against the batsman, a former international umpire told PTI on Monday.

The umpire, who did not want to be named, said that as per the laws of the game once the batsman is given out and leaves the field of play he cannot be recalled to bat again even if the opposing captain withdraws the appeal.

“But the ICC sent a circular to the match officials not to be dogmatic about the laws if captains and teams wanted to uphold the Spirit of the Game which is exactly what the situation was yesterday,” he said.

“As per the 2000 Code (Laws of Cricket) the Spirit of the Game overrides its laws. The Spirit of the Game also comes into play in Law 42 relating to fair and unfair play,” he said.

Bell made an error when he stepped out of his crease before tea was called after his partner Eoin Morgan’s shot off the last ball before the break had not crossed the boundary.

The ball was fielded before it crossed the rope and thrown from the deep by Praveen Kumar and Abhinav Mukund clipped the bails at the batsman’s end.

There was a run out appeal with the batsman out of his crease, having set off for the tea interval.

The two on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus and Asad Rauf, conferred and referred the matter to the third umpire who declared the batsman out, which prompted the crowd to boo the Indian players when they went off the field for the break.

After some behind-the-scene activities involving the two skippers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to withdraw the appeal and told the umpires accordingly who allowed Bell to resume his innings after resumption of play.

Writing in Monday’s English daily Daily Telegraph, former England player Derek Pringle had said that as per the laws of the game, Bell could not have been recalled to bat after tea, having crossed the ropes in the intevening period.

“Under Law 27.8, the reprieve shouldn’t have been allowed anyway, as any player must be recalled before they have left the field of play,” he explained.