London: England batsman Eoin Morgan, who was at the non-striker`s end when the Ian Bell run-out controversy happened during the second Test against India, claims that the confusion was caused by umpire Asad Rauf`s ambiguous gestures.
Bell was run out when he walked off the crease presuming that the ball had gone for four at the stroke of tea only to realise later that it was in play when he headed for the dressing room. But he was reinstated after India decided to take back the appeal on being requested by England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss.
Morgan was at the non-striker`s end at that time and revealed that Rauf didn`t quite give a clear answer as to whether the ball was still in play when he asked him.
"I said `Is it four?` And Asad (Rauf, the umpire) nodded his head. No, he didn`t nod his head. He sort of gestured. So I just turned round and walked off presuming the ball was dead," Morgan told a daily.
"It was a weird one really because Asad at the end of the over doesn`t actually call `over`; he never does. He just gestures to the bowler," he claimed.
Bell and Morgan were then stopped reserve umpire Tim Robinson on the boundary line.
"Tim just told us to hold on because they were checking to see if it had gone for four and what action they were going to take because the bails had been taken off," he recalled.
Morgan insisted that neither he nor Bell had a clue about what was happening in the middle.
"I wasn`t really worried until I walked off and Belly told me they`d taken the bails off," he said.
"In the dressing room we didn`t really know what was going on. We were just waiting around to see what happened. The bell went and we still hadn`t heard anything," Morgan said.
"Billy Bowden (the television umpire) came up to our dressing room three times during the interval to say they hadn`t retracted their appeal," he elaborated.
"Literally two minutes before Matt (Prior) and I were about to go out, the message came through that Belly was still in."
Morgan said he could not really understand the fuss that followed.
"It was ridiculous really. If the roles were reversed, we would have felt a responsibility to the spirit of cricket and to the way the game should be played," he asserted.
Talking about the ongoing four-match Test series which England lead 2-0, Morgan said the hosts were aiming for the number one spot.
"We want to strive to be No.1. For all the talk outside, inside the changing room it is a matter of keeping things simple and breaking down every part of our game. We know that if we execute our plans we can get to be No 1," he said.