Bell admits being naive

August 1st, 2011 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 1 (IANS) England batsman Ian Bell took the blame for his bizarre run out on the third day of the second cricket Test which almost soured relations between England and India, saying he was “naive and has learnt my lesson”.

“If you’re going to go right down to how the rules stand, then yes I was out. It was a completely honest mistake to assume the ball was dead.,” Bell said. “I was naive and I have learned my lesson.”

“I think the end decision was right for the spirit of the game and they’ll probably admit that, but it was very naive on my behalf to assume the ball was dead. Just to walk off for tea was a bit stupid. There wasn’t something quite right about the initial decision.”

“The right decision was made in the spirit of the game and I think both teams would have done the same thing in the same situation. It is difficult to say what we would have done if we had been in the middle. Would we have gone for the run out? Probably not. But now it is time to move on and I have learned my lesson,” he said.

Bell said he thought Morgan had clipped the ball for four and it was tea.

“Morgy’s clipped one off his pads right down to the boundary, the fielder’s dived, it looked like it had gone for four,” he said. “His (Praveen Kumar’s) body language suggested it had.”

“I touched down for the third run, Asad Rauf [umpire] pulled out his jumper and looked like he was going to hand it to the bowler. I was certainly not attempting a run, but probably just a little bit naive, but I thought everything was just meandering towards tea. It wasn’t until we got to the boundary rope that we realised something had changed.”

Bell was ruled run out on 137 when he left his crease thinking it to be the tea break even though the umpires didn’t call for tea. The Indian fielders took off the bails and appealed for a run out. The on-field umpires referred it to third umpire Billy Bowden, who gave Bell run out, much to the displeasure of the 15,000 crowd and the England team.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after a team meeting during the break decided to withdraw the appeal, to keep up the spirit of the game.

The boos which met the Indian team after the break turned into cheers after the crowd saw Bell walking in to bat.

A relieved International Cricket Council quickly released a statement praising the decision, which averted a row between two biggest cricketing powers.

The incident overshadowed Bell’s 15th Test century but the batsman was happy with his effort.

“Hopefully, I’ve shown another great example that I’m moving in the right direction as a Test cricketer,” he said. “It would be nice for this hundred to be remembered as a good hundred against a good team and helping set up a great Test match. It was a good hundred because I really admire this team.”

“They have some world-class players not just with the batting but with bowling. It was nice to score a hundred in this situation, under pressure and wanting us to get back in the game. It is right up there for me in terms of hundreds scored for England,” Bell said.

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