Ian Bell backs Stuart Broad, Aleem Dar

Ian Bell and Stuart Broad leave the field at the conclusion of day three at Trent Bridge.
© PA Photos
Ian Bell tells Sports Mole that Stuart Broad and Aleem Dar are not deserving of the criticism that they have received in recent days.

England batsman Ian Bell has jumped to the defence of his teammate Stuart Broad and umpire Aleem Dar following the opening Test match of this summer's Ashes series at Trent Bridge.

On day three at Nottingham, Dar failed to spot that Broad had edged Ashton Agar's spinning delivery to Michael Clarke, who caught the ball in the slips.

It resulted in criticism from some quarters towards Dar for failing to dismiss Broad, while a number of people insisted that the England all-rounder should have owned up.

However, ESPNcricinfo columnist Bell, who was standing at the non-striker's end at the time, has stood by both men.

"Everyone has their right to wait for the umpire to make a decision. From the non-striker's end, it was a spinner, the keeper was stood up and it was all done in quick time. There wasn't very much space between the nick and the glove. It's all very well and good seeing it on slow motion replays, but in real time it was quick," he told Sports Mole

"For me, Aleem Dar is one of the best umpires that you can get in the middle. If he is not number one in the world then he is number two. Even the best umpires make mistakes, but I'm glad he is involved in our series because he is one of the best. I honestly didn't think that [Broad] had nicked it at that time. Obviously, in hindsight you can see on the replays that he did."

You can read our full interview with Bell here.

Ian Bell will be writing exclusively throughout the Ashes series for espncricinfo.com.

Ian Bell plays a shot on day three of The Ashes at Trent Bridge.
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