We like a bit of ruthlessness, but there’s a fairly clear line between ‘ruthlessness’ and ‘being a dick’. We call it the ‘being a dick line’ and we always try and stay the right side of it. England didn’t.
Ryan Sidebottom went after the ball and inadvertently decked Grant Elliott who was in the process of taking a quick single. While Elliott writhed around with a suspected broken spine, England ran him out.
At this point, everyone felt a bit uncomfortable, so the umpires rather generously said to Paul Collingwood: “Er, are you sure?” Paul Collingwood said ‘yes’.
Then the umpires said: “No, no, Paul, you’re not getting us. Are you… sure?” while raising their eyebrows and looking him straight in the eye.
Paul Collingwood said ‘yes’.
Then, later on, once England had lost and New Zealand were a bit calmer, Paul Collingwood went into the Kiwi dressing room and apologised. Then Daniel Vettori told some lies about how they’d forgiven Collingwood because he’d had the decency to apologise.
Then everyone pretended nothing had happened. Of course in the fifth one-day international New Zealand will appeal after every ball Collingwood faces.