Flower defends England’s conduct in Bell incident

August 3rd, 2011 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar London, Aug 3 (IANS) England team director Andy Flower has defended England’s move to request India to withdraw the run-out appeal against Ian Bell, saying that if they had attempted to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar in a similar fashion in Mumbai, it would have turned into an “international incident.”

India have been widely praised for allowing Bell to resume his innings after tea on the third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge, especially since it emerged that Flower and England captain Andrew Strauss had taken the unusual step of visiting the tourists’ dressing room during the interval.

Flower suggested that those who have criticised their behaviour are guilty of “double standards” for failing to recognise what might have happened had the boot been on the other foot.

“We didn’t think sitting in our changing room and fuming quietly to ourselves was going to do any good,” Flower was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

“We thought communicating like that would be the way to go. We felt that Bell wasn’t attempting to take a run and, therefore, we wanted to ask the Indian side to reconsider their appeal.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s captain, said his team had already made the decision to reprieve Bell before the intervention of Flower and Strauss.

“You should also consider what their reaction would have been if the England side had run out an Indian player like that. I’m not convinced there wouldn’t have been uproar.”

Asked directly about what might have happened had Tendulkar been the subject of the appeal, he said: “If an England side had done that in Mumbai, I think there would have been a proper international incident on the cards.”

“I don’t think that’s being overly dramatic. We’ve seen similar things happen before. In evaluating the situation, I don’t think you should have double standards.”

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