“It was my mistake” – Ian Bell recalls MS Dhoni’s ‘Spirit of Cricket’ run-out

Former England batsman Ian Bell has recalled his famous ‘Spirit of Cricket’ incident with former Indian skipper MS Dhoni during the 2011 series.

It was the 2nd Test of the 4-match rubber. On the stroke of Tea on the 3rd day, Eoin Morgan tucked a ball on the leg-side which was stopped just short of the boundary by a diving Praveen Kumar. Ian Bell and Morgan thought it was a boundary and ran back to the pavilion for the interval.

However, Kumar then threw the ball to MS Dhoni, who passed it to Abhinav Mukund to dislodge the bails. Much to the chagrin of Ian Bell, who was batting at 137, the umpires ruled in favor of MS Dhoni’s appeal and the batsman was run out.

The run-out drew immense booing and heckling from the English crowd and prompted some deliberation across both camps. MS Dhoni eventually withdrew his appeal and allowed Ian Bell to continue. The batsman went on to score 156 runs and Dhoni was awarded the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade for his gesture.

Although he was involved in some animated discussions with the umpire after the incident, Ian Bell admitted on Thursday that the bizarre runout was his mistake. He acknowledged that he ran back too soon without confirming the boundary.

Yes, it’s interesting. When I look back to that, I mean, I must have been hungry or something because I literally just belted for the pavilion when I thought it was four if it was either way around, I would have been safe and we would have been fine. But yeah, they obviously got Dhoni a ‘Spirit of the Game’ award for the decade or something like that. But yeah [it was] a mistake on my behalf, should never do that,” Ian Bell told The Grade Crickter’s YouTube channel.

MS Dhoni was lauded by all and sundry for his decision, which was made despite his team trailing by a game in the series. In the end, India lost the 2nd Test by 319 runs and the series 4-0.

2011 to 2013 was the peak of my career: Ian Bell

Ian Bell
Ian Bell

Ian Bell, who played over 286 internationals for England, picked the 2-year-period between 2011 and 2013 as the peak of his career. He picked winning away series in Australia and India, and a Man of the Series performance in the 2013 Ashes as the highlights.

“From 2011 to 2013, those 2 years really [were my peak]. But as a team as well we were winning home and away. We won in Australia and India as well, which is so hard to do in Test cricket. For any Australian or English young lad growing up, if you get involved in an Ashes you want to be Man of the Series… you just want one series where you can have a huge impact. For me 2013 was a series where I suppose I played at a level I wanted to play at,” signed off Ian Bell.

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