West Indies great Michael Holding has called for Stuart Broad to banned from the second Ashes Test at Lord’s after the England batsman refused to walk in the series opener.
Broad had made 37, with England then 297 for seven in their second innings on Friday’s third day at Trent Bridge, when he edged teenage debutant spinner Ashton Agar.
The ball clipped wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s gloves and then flew to Australia captain Michael Clarke at first slip.
Australia appealed for the catch, but leading Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar ruled in the batsman’s favor as Broad stayed put on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
The tourists could not believe the verdict, but ultimately, as they had already used up both their two permitted reviews in the innings, they were unable to challenge it by calling on the third umpire and had to accept Dar’s decision.
Broad finished the day on 47 not out, having by thenr added 108 with Ian Bell (then 95 not out), and helped Ashes-holders England to a lead of 261 with four wickets left.
Holding said the International Cricket Council (ICC) should view Broad’s decision not to walk — the practice whereby batsmen give themselves out without waiting for the umpire’s decision — in the same light as when West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin falsely claimed a catch against Pakistan in a Champions Trophy match at The Oval in London last month.
Ramdin was banned for two one-day games by the match referee, who happened to be Broad’s father, Chris.
“What Stuart Broad did amounts to the same thing as Ramdin,” Holding told the Daily Mail. “He knew he had hit the ball. The ICC fined Ramdin and suspended him for ‘actions that were contrary to the spirit of the game.’ What Stuart Broad did is contrary to the spirit of the game. He played the ball and stayed there.”
Maybe because cricket has tended to be a batsman’s game, not walking is seen by many within the sport as a lesser “offence” than falsely claiming a catch.
The argument in support of this view likens the batsman to the accused man at a trial who is not obliged to incriminate himself before the judge, or umpire in a cricket context, passes sentence, whereas the fielder who appeals for a catch when the ball has bounced is initiating a process based on deceit.
However, it was an argument that cut little ice with former Test wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist who, unusually for an Australia player, was a noted walker.
“Some people saying, you rely on the umpire. No you don’t, you rely on honesty,” Gilchrist tweeted, adding: “Disappointed by the Poms [English] today [Friday], if you’re out — you walk.”
However, England batsman Kevin Pietersen insisted teammate Broad had done nothing wrong, saying after Friday’s play: “Every single batsman who plays cricket, no matter who you play for, has the right to wait for the umpire’s decision. We play hard and we play very, very fair, and every single batsman has the right to wait for the umpire.”
Friday’s incident was not the first time a member of the Broad family had been involved in an umpiring controversy.
Chris Broad, then an England opening batsman, stood his ground for a minute after being given out caught behind by local umpire Shakeed Khan in the first Test against Pakistan at Lahore in 1987.
Eventually Graham Gooch, his partner in the middle and now England’s batting coach, persuaded him to walk off the field.