Take a bow Stuart Broad.
Despite having the worst poker face in history, he managed to stand his ground after ‘allegedly’ nicking one to slip in the first Test. But while the sound of 20 million Australian complaints has just about reached these shores (I thought we were the whinging ones?), let’s get a few facts straight.
Firstly, he didn’t hit it to slip. Brad Haddin’s shoddy glovework meant a thin edge has been blown out of proportion… reading some of the comments you would think he was caught at mid off. Secondly, if Michael Clarke stopped wasting reviews with emotional decisions, he would have had a review left so the third umpire could have pointed out Aleem Dar’s mistake.
Finally, this is 2013 and nobody left in the game walks any more. Looking back through the sepia-tinged lens we have great memories of noble gentlemen and Adam Gilchrist walking when the umpire missed it, but that doesn’t happen anymore. Broad did every batsman does nowadays, including Brad Haddin at the end of the Test (we can’t hear the cries of “CHEAT” over that one), he turned and waited for the umpire.
Should he have been given out? Yes. Did the finger go up? No. Therefore he’s not out.
Broad’s actions didn’t undermine the spirit of cricket, he enhanced it. Walking when not out is effectively undermining the umpire by telling he is wrong and you know better. So if you can contradict the umpire when you hit one, why can’t you do it when you miss one and are given out? Jonathan Trott’s LBW in the second innings is a case in point – he knew he had hit it, Aleem Dar knew he had hit it, but had to go because the third umpire said. If players can overrule umpires, why didn’t he just stay?
Walking is the first step on a slippery slope to player power and football style abuse of referees. No one wants to see that, so I make Stuart Broad my Absolute Champ for this week, for helping us win the Test (89 runs and 3 wickets) and defending the traditions of cricket. What a bloke!