Dhoni respected the unwritten laws of cricket
One may argue it was silly of Ian Bell to leave his crease while the ball was still live, and the umpire hadn't signaled tea. Yet, Bell did not intend to take a run, the videos prove. His naive assumption was instinctive. Aakash Chopra writes.Updated: Aug 05, 2011 00:37 IST
Rajasthan Opener Vineet Saxena hit the ball towards mid-wicket and waved at the square umpire, seeking permission to go down the track and tap the surface.
The fielder, who hadn't passed the ball to the bowler by then, threw the ball to Vadodara's wicketkeeper/captain Pinal Shah who dislodged the bails and appealed. Vineet, a few feet down the pitch, thought it was in jest and didn't even make an attempt to come back.
The umpire asked Pinal Shah if he was serious about claiming that wicket. He responded in the affirmative and the decision was referred to the third umpire.
While the replays showed Vineet did seek permission, it also showed that somehow the umpire had overlooked his request. Vineet was judged out. The laws clearly state that a batsman must not leave the crease till the ball is dead, or without the umpire's permission. This incident occurred during the last Ranji finals. Undoubtedly, Vadodara's appeal was legitimate, yet hopelessly unethical.
Fortunately, Dhoni & Co., unlike Vadodara, invalidated a similar appeal at Trent Bridge. One may argue it was silly of Ian Bell to leave his crease while the ball was still live, and the umpire hadn't signaled tea. Yet, Bell did not intend to take a run, the videos prove. His naive assumption was instinctive.
Dhoni's decision to appeal though, was an afterthought, and hence calculated.
It may have been well within the books to claim, yet the appeal bordered on slyness. As Dhoni reversed the decision, critics and a lot of us quashed his high morality. Is being ethical passé?
Cricket, in spite of all the technological advancements, still maintains a humane character. There're some unwritten rules which every cricketer ought to respect. Dhoni did just that.
Team India didn't embrace ethics when it was convenient to, but did so when they were caught against the tide. We must laud them for not being a bunch of opportunists, but being the idols they ought to be.
Ian Bell's reinsertion may have sealed the match, but you don't weigh your options while doing the right thing.
First Published: Aug 05, 2011 00:35 IST