The Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni utilised the tea interval to decide whether to recall Bell after the batsman walked away assuming that the second session was over while the ball was still in play.
However, in a similar incident 37 years ago, England skipper Mike Denness had taken more than two hours to withdraw the appeal against West Indies batsman Alvin Kallicharran, who was batting on 142 when the untoward dismissal happened in the Port of Spain Test.
Though Denness refused to comment on the incident, Douglas Sang Hue, the umpire who adjudged Kallicharran out, explained why the decision to recall the batsman took so long.
"It was due to the long discussions between the two boards. I had made it clear that we have no objection if the batsman is recalled, but the laws would not allow this to happen," said the 79-year-old from Jamaica.
West Indies' Bernad Julien hit the ball to Tony Greig at silly point on the last ball of the second day's play. Wicketkeeper Alan Knott flicked the bails off and pulled out the stumps, Julien started walking towards the pavilion as did Kallicharran.
However, Greig threw the ball at the stumps at the bowler's end and appealed for a run out. "I gave Kallicharran run out as he walked off the field before the over was called off," justified Hue.
"According to the 1980's code of the laws, section 27.8 allows the captain of the fielding side to withdraw an appeal with the consent of the umpire, provided the batsman has not left the field," said the umpire.
Hue, who witnessed the Bell saga on television, said: "The law was not followed this time, but in the spirit of the game, Dhoni was allowed to withdraw his appeal," he concluded.
Meanwhile, former ICC Elite panel umpire Daryl Harper said the decision to recall Bell should have been spontaneous.
"Playing within the spirit of cricket should be a spontaneous act. It should have been a natural instinct," Harper said.
"Acting spontaneously to ensure that play is conducted within the spirit of the game is all that matters," he added.