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Rediff.com  » Cricket » I was naive to assume the ball was dead, admits Bell

I was naive to assume the ball was dead, admits Bell

Last updated on: August 1, 2011 10:55 IST

Bell was the star on Day 3 for all the wrong reasons

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Bikash Mohapatra reports from Trent Bridge.

Ian Bell was the star of the show on the third day of the second Test between England and India at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

However, it was not his spectacular 159 that helped consolidated England's advantage, which is being discussed.

- Scorecard Match Report

Instead, it is the controversy he was involved in that made the headlines.

In the final over before the breather, bowled by Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar made an attempt at saving the ball following an Eoin Morgan shot. The England batsmen (Bell and Morgan), assuming it was a boundary and the umpire had called tea, walked back to the pavilion.

The ball was still in play, though, and Abhinav Mukund clipped the bails off and questioned the umpire. The decision was referred to the third umpire (Billy Bowden) and went in India's favour.

However, India later withdrew its appeal and Bell was recalled. In a span of 20 minutes, the 29-year-old batsman was given out and then reinstated.


Image: Rahul Dravid shakes hands with Ian Bell
Photographs: Getty Images
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'It was naive on my part to assume that the ball was dead'

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He went on to add a further 22 runs before being dismissed again. Thus, it was obvious that the questions directed to Bell at the presser were mostly related to the episode.

"It was stupid," admitted Bell, adding, "I will have to take the blame.

"It was naive on my part to assume that the ball was dead."

- Images: Bell puts England in driver's seat

The batsman, who was involved in three crucial partnerships that helped the English cause considerably, was elaborate on his side of the story.

"The fielder (Praveen Kumar) went down, it seemed the ball had gone for four and his body language suggested he had given up.

"Whether it was naive or whatever, we assumed the same and walked off for tea," he said.

There was drama, however, before he could make his way to the dressing room.

"It all seemed pretty straightforward for a while. Then all changed," admitted Bell.


Image: Umpires Marais Erasmus and Asad Rauf await a review on the wicket of England's Bell with the India team
Photographs: Reuters
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'If you exactly go by the laws of the game, I was out'

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"Both of us (me and Morgan) didn't understand what was going wrong," he added.

Asked if he had heard umpire Asad Rauf calling off play, Bell replied in the negative.

"No, I didn't," he confessed.

"It was wrong on my behalf.

"I learnt a very important lesson today: till the umpire says it is over, it is not over," he stated.

India's decision to rescind him was definitely in the spirit of the game. However, as per the laws, Bell was out.

Asked the same, the batsman was forthcoming. "If you exactly go by the laws of the game, I was out," admitted Bell, before adding an explanation.

"The end result [the recall] was in the spirit of the game, and the right decision was made by both the teams," he said.


Image: Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan talk to the fourth umpire
Photographs: Reuters
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