Sports minister Maken heaps praise on Dhoni

MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal against Ian Bell on the third day of the Trent Bridge Test Getty Images

New Delhi: Jul 31, 2011

Sports minister Ajay Maken on Sunday praised India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his fine gesture of withdrawing his appeal against England batsman Ian Bell on the third day of the second cricket Test in Nottingham.

“Proud of you Dhoni! Spirit of the game is more important than the result. Win the hearts and you will win the game too! India is proud of you!” Maken said.

The decision against Bell was overturned after Dhoni withdrew his appeal against the batsman who, however, under the rules of the game, was out.

The bizarre incident took place when Bell was declared run out off the last ball of the final over before tea, when he casually walked off the crease after completing the third run, probably thinking that the ball had crossed the ropes.

But the bails at the wicketkeeper’s end came off, thanks to Praveen Kumar’s diving effort in the deep, which prompted Dhoni to appeal for a run out.

Confusion prevailed as the umpires upheld the appeal and Bell was declared out.

It attracted instant boos from the crowd but, as Dhoni recalled the batsman, the jeers turned to cheers for the India skipper.