Stuart Broad's decision not to walk during the second innings of the first test against Australia has brought up the age old question of whether a batsman should give himself out and walk from the field?
If the umpire has failed to see or hear the ball making contact with the bat is it acceptable he should stand his ground and continue to bat even though he knows there has been a mistake?
Although Broad certainly isn’t the first player to chose not to walk it can cause opinion to be divided about whether or not it should be accepted in cricket. But is it really the responsibility of the batsman to help make the decision of whether he hit the ball or not?
Surely the umpire is there to make those decisions. It’s his duty to make the call. In the end the final call should rest with the official.
With the introduction of the third umpire referral system technology their should be no real need for a player to walk anymore. If the umpire makes a mistake on what should be an obvious decision then the opposition team can ask for it to be reviewed. If successful, the decision will be overturned if necessary. If a team finds themselves without any referrals left at the time of the incident then they really only have themselves to blame for using their them so wastefully earlier on in the match.
There’s also an argument that a batsman shouldn’t feel the need to walk because in the end it all evens out. There will be times when a batsman is not ruled out when he has made contact with the ball and there will be other times when he is incorrectly given out by the umpire when he has missed the ball completely.
The most memorable walking incident occurred during the 2003 World Cup in a match between Australia and Sir Lanka. Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist chose the way of honesty and walked from the ground after the umpire deemed him not out.
Although the public cheered him for his honesty, it created division between the Australian players on whether he did the right thing for the team. It also angered the umpire who was angered by Gilchrist going against his decision.
One thing you can always be sure of when it comes to walking is whatever choice the batsman chooses to make it will always come with a fair share of criticism and support by the public and media. In the end there is no right or wrong way to go about it, it purely comes down to an individuals personal view on the matter.
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