Bell didn’t deserve a second life: Botham

August 1st, 2011 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 1 (IANS) Former England captain Ian Botham has said batsman Ian Bell didn’t deserve to be called back by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after being run out in a silly fashion at the stroke of tea on the third day’s play of the second cricket Test here Sunday.

“Having been legitimately run out by the Indians with his mind on a huge round of applause and a cup of tea he had no right to expect to be batting after the break. He was out. I can understand why MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal and decided to go along with the spirit of the game, but I would have had no problem if he had upheld it and sent a message about dopey cricket,” Botham wrote in his column in The Mirror.

The legendary all-rounder said the England batsman should have been sitting in the balcony watching others score the runs he should have.

“If it was me I’d have run him out and let him think long and hard about remaining in his crease until the ball is dead… It’s an arena for big boys. The game should be played fair but it should be played hard and if you don’t know the laws then find them out quickly because it is no place to wander about with your head in the clouds,” he said.

Recalling a similar incident during his playing days, Botham said: “I can remember playing a county game and fielding at slip when there was a huge lbw shout, the umpire said not out, the batsman then went walkabout for no reason, I threw down the stumps and he was run out and I certainly wasn’t going to call him back.”

Botham blasted Bell for playing soft cricket.

“It was extremely soft cricket from Bell and could have put an end to what was a magnificent innings, and one that had all the responsibility of a man with his head switched on.

“The reaction of the crowd too was out of order before and after tea. They might have been ¬≠loosened up by one or two ¬≠sharpeners during the day, but their booing of the Indian team and the umpires for doing their jobs ¬≠properly was not on. But when Bell trotted down the steps and the cheers went up all was well with the world again,” he said.

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