New Delhi: Though smearing, sledging, on field tussles, arguments and controversies have slowly but surely become a salient feature of modern day cricket, but the spirit of cricket remains alive as displayed by few individuals or at times by a side. 
The decision of Dhoni and Team India to recall Ian Bell during at Trent Bridge test even after his legitimate dismissal is one such example. The move is even more praise-worthy as both teams are fighting for the top spot in Test cricket. Having lost the first test match, India desperately needed Bell’s wicket which came just before tea break.
Well-versed with the fact that Bell’s recall may cost them the series as well as the top rank in Test cricket, Dhoni and his team in a move which stunned all and sundry invited the England batsman to bat again.
Bell was given a bizarre run out by the umpire Asad Rauf at tea on the third day of second Test at Trent Bridge. It was the last ball before tea, Eoin Morgan flicked off Ishant’s delivery to deep square, where Praveen Kumar made a magnificent attempt to save the ball on the boundary.
Kumar thought it was four but it wasn’t, the England batsmen thought it was four and by the time the throw came back, both Morgan and Ian Bell (who rescued England with a century) were out of their crease believing that the Umpires had called Tea. However, the throw came in from the boundary and Abhinav Mukund who was near the stumps, clipped the bails off. Indian skipper and the team mates appealed for a run out.
After judging all the possibilities, Bell was declared out by the third umpire. However, Indian team sorted out the confusion in the dressing room and decided to keep up the cricket spirit alive and agreed to recall Bell.
Suddenly, the ‘boos changed into cheers’ and the entire Indian side got a standing ovation from the England team and all the spectators for their spirit of the game.
But why the English didn’t do in 1981-82 what Dhoni did today?

SRIKKANTH RUN FIASCO: England were touring India in 1981-82 and found itself in a similar situation in the first Test at the Wankhede. Opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth, playing his first Test, had an awful experience when he nudged a ball straight into the hands of fielder John Emburey and thought the passage of play was dead.
However, when he casually stepped out of the crease, Emburey quietly took off the bails and appealed for a run out. Technically, Srikkanth was dismissed and in a shocked state, quietly began his walk back to the pavilion. Skipper Keith Fletcher didn't do a Dhoni back then and refused to invoke the so called spirit of the game. England claimed the wicket even as they went on to lose the Test.
As per the laws of cricket Ian Bell was out, but the ‘cricketism’ among the Indians did not allow them to do the same deed with Bell.

The entire dramatic incident was little bit like when New Zealand ran out Murali after Sangakkara made a century.
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 2006:
In 2006, Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara had just reached his century against New Zealand with last man Muthiah Muralitharan who didn't ground his bat perfectly, but came down running to his mate to congratulate on his century.

Chris Martin threw the ball from the boundary and wicket keeper Brendan McCullum took the bails off.  At that time, no spirit of the game was discussed as everything that had happened was within the rule.

So as a result New Zealanders stuck to their decision and Muralitharan was given out.
Thirty two years ago, Gundappa Viswanath, who captained India in two Tests, had recalled another England batsman after he had been given out. Bob Taylor, who gratefully resumed his innings, forged a match-turning seventh wicket partnership with Ian Botham. That was however a case of correcting an umpiring error.
In 2009 Champions Trophy, New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori spared England batsman Paul Collingwood, who was declared run out after wandering out of his crease.
Courtney walsh in 1987 World Cup: It was West Indies vs Pakistan clash for semi finals berth. Chasing 216, Pakistan needed 14 runs in the last over which was bowled by legendary Walsh.
Pakistan needed 14 runs off the last six.
Abdul Qadir took a single off the first ball and Saleem Jaffar another off the second, leaving 12 to get off four. Qadir, who had done nothing of significance with the ball then turned it on, hitting a two and then launching a straight six that drew the crowd roaring to its feet. They ran another two off the next ball, leaving two to get off the last.
Walsh ran in to bowl the last ball and pulled up without delivering: Jaffar, at the non-striker's end, was well out of his crease, heading up the wicket. Walsh could have run him out comfortably but chose not to do so and headed back to bowl the delivery again. Though West Indies had lost their match but Walsh’s added another feather to his hat.
England vs West Indies 1973-74: It was the last ball of the day's play at Port of Spain in 1973-74. Bernard Julien defended just past Tony Greig at silly point, and Kallicharan walked off assuming it was stumps. Greig ran Kallicharan out, and after crowd trouble, and a meeting between the umpires, the captains and the board representatives, the appeal was withdrawn. Kallicharan added 16 to reach 158, West Indies won by seven wickets.
In the Golden Jubilee Test, in 1979-80, Gundappa Viswanath was convinced Bob Taylor was not out when ruled caught-behind, and insisted he be called back. Taylor's match-turning partnership of 171 with Ian Botham was worth only 85 when Viswanath made the gesture that earned him a lot of respect. India lost by 10 wickets.
Today, Indian fans are admiring Team India for choosing statesmanship over gamesmanship. Good sportsmanship, as demonstrated by Indian captain M S Dhoni, shines out like a good deed in a wicked world.

Amit Kumar