Sunday, March 20, 2011

To Walk or not to Walk

Now that the first round has come to an end, I would like stir up the debate that has been raging for a long time. The question “Should batsmen walk back to the pavilion if they know that they are out?” Well, there has been contrasting approaches taken by today’s cricketers.

Ricky Ponting during Australia’s clash with Pakistan during the current world cup, knew very well that he was caught behind off Hafeez, yet stood his ground, till he was shown the exit when Pakistan opted to review. He even acknowledged that he was out the game, and yet wanted the umpire to give his decision. Quite the contrary was what Adam Gilchrist did in South Africa in a crucial semi finals against Sri Lanka in the 2003 edition. Glichrist headed back to the pavilion when umpire Rudi Koertzen essentially judged him not out as the Sri Lankans vociferously appealed that the batsman was caught behind. Gilli actually waited till Koertzen gave a no decision and then to the surprise of everyone including the fielding team, exhibited sportsmanship unknown in the Aussie cricketing world, by walking back to the stands. It’s a pity that the current Aussie captain failed to take a leaf out of his former teammate and deputy’s book.

Another bizarre incident was when Mahela Jayawardene stood his ground on a clean catch by Nathan McCullum. The funny part of this is that the review when referred upstairs came back in favor of Jayawarene to the amazement of everyone who has been blessed by God with the gift of eyesight. Apparently the umpire upstairs cannot see with naked eye as well as the technology eye. A real shame since Mahela went to add almost another 50 runs after that and was involved in a decisive third wicket stand with his captain Sangakaara that all but pocketed the game for Sri Lanka. Not sure if the batsman can be faulted but the umpire sure should be sacked.

And finally, the most classy and respected player in the game, just raised the bar on sportsmanship today, when the greatest cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar headed back to the dressing room, while the umpire was standing there, shaking his head to a loud appeal from the Caribbeans. One cannot but look at him in awe for preserving the gentleman’s code of the game in today’s world of selfish players. He could easily have stayed put, waited for the review, which by the way in all likelihood would have gone in his favor, and he probably could have gone on to score his 100th international century. But he chose to play in the spirit of the game which all other top cricketers today don’t seem to hold on to. Gilchrist’s actions were called by some as accidental walking and so on, but I really condemn their comments. It was a commendable act by a great cricketer and I really wish others follow suit.

The game of cricket has always been dubbed as a gentleman’s game, yet you can count the gentlemen with your fingers today.


1 comment:

  1. Cricket is no longer a gentlemans game. Very few belive in values, cricketing ethics and play the game in right spirit.Ponting almost took the cover of the ball but still stood his ground.Had there been no referalls what would have happend. I must admit there is no great feeling when we score a 100 when we know we were out. A chanceless inings gives a lot of pleasure, confidence rather than an innings which has a lost of chances especially when one knows he is out.No words to praise the great man and I guess all cricketrs should take a leaf out of his book.Having said that no one can be him and I feel proud to say "I am more a Sachin devotee rather than an Indian". Go sachin Go !


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