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Stuart Broad should have walked

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Stuart Broad did not walk. Why should he have? Why shouldn’t he have? Explanations have been provided aplenty. Obviously, the morally right answer to the conundrum is for Broad to have walked after ‘middling’ the ball to Clarke at slips. Unfortunately ‘morals’, dictate the action of only a few these days; perhaps countable on the fingers. Romantics still want players to uphold the spirit of the game while realists believe it to be already extinct and an unnecessary encumbrance to victory.

This doesn’t mean that Broad is morally numb. Given the circumstances under which he chose to make his stand, Broad can be termed simply as a fighter and a patriot, willing to do anything to bring victory for his country. Broad was on 37. England were 297/6, 232 runs ahead; a safe enough position. But had Broad walked and if Australia had gone on to win, the question would certainly be asked. What if Broad hadn’t walked? It would haunt Broad, knowing he could have secured a victory.

Every batsman when he gets out replays his dismissal in his head. He wishes he had played a different stroke or none at all. He wishes he had one more chance. Broad was lucky enough to get it. In the heat of the moment, Broad had too many variables to take into consideration. In times like these, man does what is his nature; act selfishly. Nature or one’s upbringing significantly increases or decreases the magnitude of this basic instinct. The added incentive of playing for the country only amplified his nature.  

 

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Broad’s view was a ‘just for fun’ tweet. But if you ask him, of course he would be gutted. He would have known at that moment, he would be labeled a cheat by millions of people. Perhaps that was his sacrifice for his country. 

Nothing per se in the law says Broad should have walked. The intangible factor of sportsman spirit is the only thing going against Broad. Personally, I do believe he should have walked. But when you look at who the catcher was, you feel maybe he was right in staying. Alas! Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they? Batsmen do get wrong decisions at times; some more than others. But that shouldn’t be a reason to do what Broad did. 

Let’s not forget Aleem Dar though. And edge like that would have been picked by hotspot even if it were primed for the previous ball. It was a decision unbecoming of one of the world’s top umpires. The ICC might score some points defining the spirit of the game. For now, it remains at the discretion of the players.

Yes, gone are the days when sport was watched and played for the fun of it. Victory means a lot. Loss hurts. Still, it would be nice if kids had sporting heroes who played the game in the right spirit. Broad should have walked; if not for himself, maybe for the kids watching. Romatic's view, I know.



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