Vettori's level head in spirit debate
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori insisted it was important to keep the spirit of cricket at the forefront of people’s minds after another captaincy reprieve at the Champions Trophy.
Vettori pardoned Paul Collingwood, who was run out after wandering out of his ground at the end of the 11th over. It would have cut short Collingwood’s innings for 14 and left England 27 for four at the Wanderers.
After lengthy deliberation, the Black Caps continued the game, despite the fact Collingwood should technically have been dismissed under the laws of the game.
Following the four-wicket victory, which sealed top spot in Group B for New Zealand and sent them into the semi-finals alongside their opponents, Vettori explained: “It was one of those situations where I had a little bit of time to think about it.
“I deliberated with team-mates and the umpires out there and in the end Paul had no intention of making a run; he just wandered out of his crease and it was a lot easier to call him back and get on with the game.
“Under the laws of the game it was probably out but we have discussed the spirit of the game a lot lately and that was the basis for the decision.
“More than anything, it was easier just to get on with the game and hopefully turn around by getting him out shortly after.”
Collingwood, on 14 at the time, eventually fell for 40 to Grant Elliott, who claimed 4-31 in with his medium-pacers to claim the match award.
Ironically, Elliott was the victim of then England captain Collingwood’s decision not to overrule a run-out in a one-day internatinonal at the Brit Oval last June, which caused great controversy as well as regret at the time.
“It’s pretty clear-cut when something like that happens, you know what is right and what is wrong,” said Elliott.
“We definitely made the right decision and I think whether it was a World Cup final, whatever, we would make the same decision.
“I just believe in karma. When we decided to keep him there I knew it was a matter of time and I told him so next over.”
England captain Andrew Strauss, who called back Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews on the same ground in the opening match of Group B last Friday, said: “It was another grey area.
“Colly obviously wasn’t going for a run. He was probably a bit hasty in leaving his crease and New Zealand were in their rights to uphold their appeal.
“So I have to applaud Daniel Vettori. It was the right decision but a tough decision to make when your future in the tournament is on the line. Fair play to him.
“Colly did say to me that if he had been given out for it he would only have had himself to blame for being dozy.”
England head to Centurion on Friday for the first semi-final, against the winners of the Pakistan-Australia clash tomorrow. Had they won they would have played once again at the seamer-friendly Wanderers.
“I am irritated because you don’t like losing games of cricket ever,” said Strauss. “If we had somehow mustered a score of 200 it would have been competitive but we weren’t able to do that.
“There is no point in us dwelling on it too much because we are now going to be playing at Centurion and we will have to remember what we did well against South Africa.
“We were soundly beaten. The wicket did a lot early on and as a batsman you needed some luck to survive.
“All credit to the New Zealand bowlers - they were accurate and the wicket helped them out. It was probably a bit more uneven in the afternoon.”
Although England were beaten with 22.5 overs to spare, they restored some pride thanks to a four-wicket haul from Stuart Broad.
However, Broad felt some stiffness in his left buttock and will undergo a scan as a precaution tomorrow.
Strauss, meanwhile, said he was “optimistic” that wicketkeeper Matt Prior would be fit for the semi-final following a virus. Eoin Morgan deputised for him once again today.