London: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for his fine gesture of calling back Ian Bell after the England batsman was run out under controversial circumstances during the second test at Trent Bridge in July.
“While the initial appeal and umpire decision were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Dhoni and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity. To see players and officials uphold the great spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
Dhoni’s gesture was voted as the winner at the glittering ICC Awards night here ahead of that of South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, who twice demonstrated such spirit during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by walking once he had clarified with opposition fielders directly that they had caught the ball cleanly rather than waiting for the umpires to decide.
This award is voted by the members of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Match Referees and Umpires.
Dhoni, who has yet to register a win against England on the tour in which the Indian team lost its number one test ranking, showed the right spirit in agreeing to allow Bell to continue batting when he was run out.
On what was the last ball before tea on the third day, Bell hit the ball towards the boundary. He mistakenly thought it had gone for four, left his crease and headed towards the pavilion assuming the session was over and the ball dead.
The ball, which had not reached the rope and therefore was still in play, was returned to the middle, the bails removed and Bell was correctly given run out.
Upon reflection during the tea interval and following a request from the England team, Dhoni withdrew the appeal and recalled Bell thus turning boos into cheers from the appreciative Nottingham crowd.