London: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum believes his Australian counterpart Steve Smith showed immaturity by not withdrawing his appeal against England batsman Ben Stokes.
Stokes left his crease after driving a ball back to bowler Mitchell Starc, who collected it in his follow through and threw at the striker's end in an attempt to run him out in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Lord's on Saturday. However, Stokes stopped the ball with his hand as he turned and dived to regain his ground.
Smith chose not to withdraw Starc's appeal and, after on-field umpires Kumar Dharmesena and Tim Robinson referred the decision, television umpire Joel Wilson recommended that Stokes be given out.
"By not withdrawing the appeal, Smith showed his immaturity. He may live to regret it. It's probably too early in his captaincy career to appreciate this but one day he'll look back at the Ben Stokes dismissal at Lord's on Saturday and realise he missed a great opportunity to strike a blow for the spirit of cricket," McCullum was quoted as saying by Daily Mail on Sunday.
"I say that from experience, not because I want to have a pop at Smith. There was a Test match where I ran out Muttiah Muralitharan while he was celebrating his partner Kumar Sangakkara's hundred. I'd have done that differently now."
The 33-year-old said if former skipper Michael Clarke would have been in Smith's position, he would have withdrawn the appeal.
"But I do wonder how Michael Clarke would have handled the situation had he still been in charge. I'm pretty sure he'd have withdrawn the appeal. I'm also pretty sure that Eoin Morgan would have done so, too," he said.