NOTTINGHAM, 13 JULY: West Indies great Michael Holding (in photo) has called for Stuart Broad to be 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 wicket-keeper 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 favour as Broad stayed put on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
The tourists couldn’t believe the verdict but ultimately, as they’d 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 on 65, having added 138 with Ian Bell (109), and helped Ashes-holders England to a lead of 261 with four wickets left. Holding said the International Cricket Council should view Broad’s decision not to walk ~ the practice whereby batsman give themselves out without waiting for the umpire’s decision ~ in the same light as when West Indies wicket-keeper 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. However it was an argument that cut little ice with former Test wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist who, unusually for an Australian, was a noted walker.
"Some people are 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."
But England batsman Kevin Pietersen insisted team-mate 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.