The expected way to react to it is to realize that you’re unlucky and walk back to the dressing room without creating a scene. Any attempt to create a scene would just add to your already bad and unlucky day, EG: Sreesanth. We’ve seen Sachin Tendulkar return to the dressing room without any show of disapproval after being given out LBW for an inside edge. We’ve also seen Sachin walk after nicking a fiery Shoaib Akthar. First situation, although Sachin got out we were happy that he respected the sport and its rules. But in the second situation, we have to admit that one small part of us wanted that Sachin to not walk and hold his ground. My opinion is that if a player walks after nicking the ball after the umpire has turned down the appeal for a caught behind, it’s the same as taking law in to your own hands. Now let’s talk about the Stuart Broad – Darren Lehmann incident where Lehmann called Broad a cheat for not walking. Broad nicked the ball? Yes. Umpire declared him out? No. If expressing disapproval over a bad decision of an umpire is illegal in cricket then why shouldn’t we enjoy the flaws in the cricket judiciary? Broad just took advantage of an error made by the umpire. If Broad has to be called a cheater, then so should the fielding side when the umpire declares a batsman out wrongly. All is fair in love and war. Cricket is both. Walking after nicking makes you a happy person, but since cricket is a team sport, shouldn’t the needs of the team be put before the personal gratification of one human being. Besides Michael Clarke edged one to first slip off an Anil Kumble googly and stood his ground in the second Border-Gavaskar test in the SCG. Now that would qualify as bad sportsmanship. In the 42nd Match of the 2011 WC Sachin walked after nicking a beautiful delivery by Ravi Rampaul though Umpire Steve Davis declared him not out. The crowd raised a debate on whether Sachin walking was a right decision or not. This came right after, Ponting stood his ground after nicking Hafeez. There was a debate then too. India ended up winning the game against WI. Sachin had just scored a 111 of 101 against the Proteas. An in form Sachin walking, that’s definitely debatable. Another incident similar to Sachin’s is Adam Gilchrist walking after edging Aravinda De Silva in the Semi Final of the 2003 WC. The Aussies had an excellent started powered by a flamboyant Gilchrist. Aussies managed 212 in 50 overs. Though they ended winning the game and the WC, Gilchrist’s decision to walk definitely came as a shocker. As I mentioned before, cricket is a team sport and in all team sports the needs and demands of the team have to be put forward before personal needs.
Not walking is dishonest but definitely not illegal. It’s about scoring an honest 0 or a dishonest 100. Any day a 100 makes a difference. Ultimately it boils down to guilt. Is it worth being dishonest to make sure that you satisfy the hopes of thousands and thousands of patriotic countrymen? That is for you to decide.