Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney January 6, 2008

Not walking is not cheating

Why is cricket the only major sport in the world where some people demand that players do the umpires' jobs for them?
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'The one thing the players can do to help is to leave all the decisions to the umpires' © Getty Images
 

While the poor umpiring during the Sydney Test has attracted many of the headlines, much vitriol has also been directed at several players for not walking when they have nicked the ball. At best they have been accused of unsporting behaviour, at worst of downright cheating.

And yet what is it about cricket that it is the only major sport in the world where some people demand that players do the umpires' jobs for them? There is nothing in the Laws that requires a batsman to walk, although there is a widespread feeling that batsmen always used to do so in the good old days, and by not doing so now the current generation show themselves as being inferior.

The reality is that walking has always been a contentious issue. The concept grew up in social cricket in Victorian times when the whole ethos of gentlemen being sportsmen was formulated. And yet, even at that level, there were some batsmen who walked and some who did not.

WG Grace, the epitome of Victorian cricket, never walked. Lord Harris, who is possibly the most establishment figure the game has ever known, admitted in his autobiography to have stood his ground when he knew he was out. "This is a case when the umpire on appeal has decided that a batsman is not out," he wrote. "The batsman, although he knows he was out, has no business to retire from the wicket."

In the 1920s there is a story of Johnny Douglas, the Essex amateur captain, storming into the Gloucestershire dressing room to berate a young Wally Hammond, at the time a professional, for not walking. Both were at one time England captains.

And yet at the same time Jack Hobbs admitted to Gubby Allen that he had edged a ball but stayed when given not out. When Allen remonstrated, Hobbs replied that it was unfair to undermine the umpire, adding that "if I had [walked] then he would almost certainly have given me out at the next possible opportunity." Hobbs was one of the game's true gentlemen - in all but name as he was no amateur - but his point was clear. The umpire is there to make decisions and not the player.

 
 
Not walking is not cheating. Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly is; the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him
 

In the post-war period the debate rumbled on. There were many complaints that some batsmen were walkers unless the situation was tight in which case they would stand their ground, aided by the umpire giving them the benefit because of their reputation as a walker. Writing in The Guardian, Mike Selvey claimed that Colin Cowdrey walked for obvious decisions but not for marginal ones in the hope his reputation would save him.

When England visited Australia in 1982-83 they made a collective decision not to walk, the logic being the Australians never did so why should they. It was once said that an Australian only ever walks when his car breaks down.

Bill Lawry, a former captain of Australia, was clear about the issue when he played. "Leave it to the umpire," he said. "The umpire has a job and I have mine. I will not walk." That's fine. He knew he would get a break one day but that on another he would be on the rough end of a bad decision. His view was that the two evened themselves out. As long as a non-walker accepts a bad decision with good grace, what is the problem?

Steve Bucknor, in the eye of the Sydney storm, said a few years ago that some batsmen would only walk when they had passed a hundred and not before they had scored. "If he knows he is out and he goes, that's good for the game," he said. "But the umpire should not depend on someone who is a walker. Otherwise, that same walker may embarrass the umpire.''

In short, unless every player in the world walks without hesitation, it won't work - and human nature means that simply will not happen. There is too much at stake to ask even the most ardent walker to give himself out when he gets the thinnest of edges after being on the receiving end of a string of bad decisions and is, as a result, batting for his place.

Not walking is not cheating. Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly is; the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him.

The umpiring at Sydney was as poor as the umpiring was good in Cape Town. The officials got several decisions badly wrong, and not just ones that the benefit of endless replays showed as being errors. That is something for the ICC to address as it is becoming clear that the demands put on a tiny panel of elite umpires by a burgeoning fixture list is causing the best of them to crack.

The one thing the players can do to help is to leave all the decisions to them. The one thing the public can do is to accept that players should not be expected to act as their own hangmen.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ahire on January 7, 2008, 14:37 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating- true.Switch to post match press conference of the sixth ODI at Mumbai.Murali Karthik says he nicked it.Ricky Ponting comes along and says '' it would have been nice if he had walked''. So, what about now?. The Indian team has not raised the issue of players not walking, just bad umpiring. Ponting says catches were taken. They clearly were not.So, either Ponting has lost it, or, he is ''cheating'', and then talks about integrity. Harbhajan and Lee have an exchange.They don't have a problem.Symonds walks in''standing up for my team-mate''.What a load of crap.....The Australians are very competetive and good cricketers.But when they start losing, they fear their pants are coming lose.In any case, they have no dignity left anymore........

  • bradw on January 7, 2008, 13:15 GMT

    We might well say that any batsman who doesn't walk when they know they are out or a fielder that claims a catch when there could be some doubt about the validity of their claim are cheat but how often do we see bowlers appealling for LBW when it is blatantly obvious that it is not out. The appeal is a request for the umpire to adjuciate. A batsman is well within the laws of the game to stand his ground when caught, even when hit to mid-wicket to await an appeal from the fielding team. As far as these element of our game go, no team who plays the game can claim innonce to all of these methods of "cheating" or "persuading the official".

  • SJW.London on January 7, 2008, 12:20 GMT

    Spot on Martin Williamson.

    If not walking is cheating, then failing to recall a batsman wrongly given out is cheating too. When, as a matter of course, captains start recalling batsmen who they or their team-mates know are not out, then batsmen can start walking as a matter of course.

    Cricket is a team game. If a batsman is given not out after an edge, it is his duty to the team (not to his personal average) to bat on and make as many runs as he can on behalf of a team mate who was wrongly given out (or who may be wrongly given out later in the innings, or the match).

    It's just a game. But play to win and take the knocks on the chin. Accept the bad decisions with the good grace you expect of your opponents.

  • LarryD on January 7, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    I am not sure how accurate it is for the author to claim that not walking isn't cheating. However, one thing is for sure, not walking is certainly *NOT* honorable. Any self-respecting batsman should walk if he knows that he is out. There is no honour in staying at the crease merely due to a lucky reprieve received from an erring umpire.

  • amicus on January 7, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    Not walking is not illegal, but it is definitely not in the spirit of the game. Cricket should be played at the highest standards of integrity and not at the level of convicts and in-mates.

    Pointing to the attitudes of illustrious but dis-honest cricketing personalities is no justification for how the game should be played.

    If cricket was meant to be only a contest to be won or lost, then test matches, the original form of cricket would always have run to conclusion and not drawn off at the end of fifth day. The very fact that a test match is allowed to be drawn is testament to the fact that there is more to this game than just winning or losing it.

  • Fogdog10 on January 7, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    Following on to my previous post.

    He new what he did should have been penalised.....millions witnessed it on the TV replays but the guys there at the time who could penalise him "Didn't see it .........what would the golfing authorities do ? Would any world class golfers do that ?

    I think its fare to say that cricket can now be taken out the catergory as a gentleman's sport when executive cricket writers are writing articles justifying cheating.

  • Hoppers on January 7, 2008, 10:37 GMT

    Cricket has for years not been a gentleman's game. It centers around baking the right sponge-cake with the ideal filling and appropriate icing. So the contents of the recipe are as follows: 1. Appointment of umpires and refs etc. 2. Minimum of three press conferences pre-test, praising ability and sportmanship of opposing team by both captains. 3. 10 excellent decisions by umpires. 4. 1 batsman walking before umpire's decision. 5. 5 questionable decisions falling 4:1 against one of the teams. 6. Result achieved in last over of 5th day. Method: 1. Stir in umpires with ability and sportsmanship of both teams 2. Then add 10 excellent decisions and the batsman walking. 3. Allow to settle and rise. 4. Add the questionable decisions and see how the result falls. 5. If the team wins in spite of the dodgy decisions against them you have a perfect sponge cake. 6. If that team is defeated, one is left with all the garbage currently being written.

  • akelumw on January 7, 2008, 10:29 GMT

    For Indians who say not walking is cheating, wind ur memory back to the 3rd ODI in 1997 against Sri Lanka. Ajay Jadeja had clearly nicked the ball off Sajeewa de Silva. The debutant umpire Prof. Sharma had raised his finger to rule Jadeja out but Jadeja didn't care at all & didn't look at the umpire. Then prof. Sharma just touched his hat with that raised finger & JAdeja went on to make a 50. In this case although the umpire had ruled Jadeja out he didn't care & funny thing was umpire had turned his decesion back as the batsman wanted. Wat u call that. Cheating or even worst. those kind of players & backbonless umpires that India had produced over the years.

  • sri1ram on January 7, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    Gentlemanly behaviour and Australians? I am not saying that Aussies cannot be gentlemen, but in cricket their own contention of "playing hard, fair cricket" that tests the limits of competing teams does not allow for any kind of gentlemanly norms. And there may well be an Aussie definition of Genteel behavior as Ponting declared before the game and then displayed it for all to see - it appeared like a contradiction or hypocrisy this time. So why beat around the bush, just follow the umpire's decisions and hope for the best, as the author amply justifies.

  • oldmanofsea on January 7, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    To Slip51, surely you must think yourself to be a better expert on catches than Ian Chappel, Sunil Gavaskar and probably everybody else in the world. Before you start shooting out of your mouth again, do a little research. Go and check the laws on catching (http://www.lords.org/laws-and-spirit/laws-of-cricket/laws/law-32-caught,58,AR.html). It has the following two points that might interest you.

    1)The act of making the catch shall start from the time when a fielder first handles the ball and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his own movement.

    2) The striker is out Caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, .... is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch before it touches the ground.

    Ponting and Clarke, when they were rolling were not in control of their movements. And they grounded the ball as they were rolling. Hence, the catch was not completed. QED

  • ahire on January 7, 2008, 14:37 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating- true.Switch to post match press conference of the sixth ODI at Mumbai.Murali Karthik says he nicked it.Ricky Ponting comes along and says '' it would have been nice if he had walked''. So, what about now?. The Indian team has not raised the issue of players not walking, just bad umpiring. Ponting says catches were taken. They clearly were not.So, either Ponting has lost it, or, he is ''cheating'', and then talks about integrity. Harbhajan and Lee have an exchange.They don't have a problem.Symonds walks in''standing up for my team-mate''.What a load of crap.....The Australians are very competetive and good cricketers.But when they start losing, they fear their pants are coming lose.In any case, they have no dignity left anymore........

  • bradw on January 7, 2008, 13:15 GMT

    We might well say that any batsman who doesn't walk when they know they are out or a fielder that claims a catch when there could be some doubt about the validity of their claim are cheat but how often do we see bowlers appealling for LBW when it is blatantly obvious that it is not out. The appeal is a request for the umpire to adjuciate. A batsman is well within the laws of the game to stand his ground when caught, even when hit to mid-wicket to await an appeal from the fielding team. As far as these element of our game go, no team who plays the game can claim innonce to all of these methods of "cheating" or "persuading the official".

  • SJW.London on January 7, 2008, 12:20 GMT

    Spot on Martin Williamson.

    If not walking is cheating, then failing to recall a batsman wrongly given out is cheating too. When, as a matter of course, captains start recalling batsmen who they or their team-mates know are not out, then batsmen can start walking as a matter of course.

    Cricket is a team game. If a batsman is given not out after an edge, it is his duty to the team (not to his personal average) to bat on and make as many runs as he can on behalf of a team mate who was wrongly given out (or who may be wrongly given out later in the innings, or the match).

    It's just a game. But play to win and take the knocks on the chin. Accept the bad decisions with the good grace you expect of your opponents.

  • LarryD on January 7, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    I am not sure how accurate it is for the author to claim that not walking isn't cheating. However, one thing is for sure, not walking is certainly *NOT* honorable. Any self-respecting batsman should walk if he knows that he is out. There is no honour in staying at the crease merely due to a lucky reprieve received from an erring umpire.

  • amicus on January 7, 2008, 11:46 GMT

    Not walking is not illegal, but it is definitely not in the spirit of the game. Cricket should be played at the highest standards of integrity and not at the level of convicts and in-mates.

    Pointing to the attitudes of illustrious but dis-honest cricketing personalities is no justification for how the game should be played.

    If cricket was meant to be only a contest to be won or lost, then test matches, the original form of cricket would always have run to conclusion and not drawn off at the end of fifth day. The very fact that a test match is allowed to be drawn is testament to the fact that there is more to this game than just winning or losing it.

  • Fogdog10 on January 7, 2008, 10:50 GMT

    Following on to my previous post.

    He new what he did should have been penalised.....millions witnessed it on the TV replays but the guys there at the time who could penalise him "Didn't see it .........what would the golfing authorities do ? Would any world class golfers do that ?

    I think its fare to say that cricket can now be taken out the catergory as a gentleman's sport when executive cricket writers are writing articles justifying cheating.

  • Hoppers on January 7, 2008, 10:37 GMT

    Cricket has for years not been a gentleman's game. It centers around baking the right sponge-cake with the ideal filling and appropriate icing. So the contents of the recipe are as follows: 1. Appointment of umpires and refs etc. 2. Minimum of three press conferences pre-test, praising ability and sportmanship of opposing team by both captains. 3. 10 excellent decisions by umpires. 4. 1 batsman walking before umpire's decision. 5. 5 questionable decisions falling 4:1 against one of the teams. 6. Result achieved in last over of 5th day. Method: 1. Stir in umpires with ability and sportsmanship of both teams 2. Then add 10 excellent decisions and the batsman walking. 3. Allow to settle and rise. 4. Add the questionable decisions and see how the result falls. 5. If the team wins in spite of the dodgy decisions against them you have a perfect sponge cake. 6. If that team is defeated, one is left with all the garbage currently being written.

  • akelumw on January 7, 2008, 10:29 GMT

    For Indians who say not walking is cheating, wind ur memory back to the 3rd ODI in 1997 against Sri Lanka. Ajay Jadeja had clearly nicked the ball off Sajeewa de Silva. The debutant umpire Prof. Sharma had raised his finger to rule Jadeja out but Jadeja didn't care at all & didn't look at the umpire. Then prof. Sharma just touched his hat with that raised finger & JAdeja went on to make a 50. In this case although the umpire had ruled Jadeja out he didn't care & funny thing was umpire had turned his decesion back as the batsman wanted. Wat u call that. Cheating or even worst. those kind of players & backbonless umpires that India had produced over the years.

  • sri1ram on January 7, 2008, 10:28 GMT

    Gentlemanly behaviour and Australians? I am not saying that Aussies cannot be gentlemen, but in cricket their own contention of "playing hard, fair cricket" that tests the limits of competing teams does not allow for any kind of gentlemanly norms. And there may well be an Aussie definition of Genteel behavior as Ponting declared before the game and then displayed it for all to see - it appeared like a contradiction or hypocrisy this time. So why beat around the bush, just follow the umpire's decisions and hope for the best, as the author amply justifies.

  • oldmanofsea on January 7, 2008, 10:17 GMT

    To Slip51, surely you must think yourself to be a better expert on catches than Ian Chappel, Sunil Gavaskar and probably everybody else in the world. Before you start shooting out of your mouth again, do a little research. Go and check the laws on catching (http://www.lords.org/laws-and-spirit/laws-of-cricket/laws/law-32-caught,58,AR.html). It has the following two points that might interest you.

    1)The act of making the catch shall start from the time when a fielder first handles the ball and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his own movement.

    2) The striker is out Caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, .... is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch before it touches the ground.

    Ponting and Clarke, when they were rolling were not in control of their movements. And they grounded the ball as they were rolling. Hence, the catch was not completed. QED

  • Ich bin das Evo on January 7, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    the blatant racism and anti-australian sentiment displayed in many of the comments, and the fact that cric-info can allow this sort of abuse, is a disgrace. wrong decisions were made. fine, get over it. it happens. as for walking, yuvraj singh anyone? melbourne he was clearly out, didn't walk, and then CLEARLY showed dissent when (rightly) given out, and yet was let off from the charge of dissent (typical pandering to India). comments about ponting's "dropped" catch are clearly ignorant and mis-informed: the ball was clearly completely in ponting's control, hence it is a catch, regardless of whether the ball brushed the ground or not. Yes i am an aussie. yes i feel sorry that india were robbed of a fair chance at the test by some bad umpiring decisions. yes i enjoyed what was a very entertaining spectacle

  • frednork on January 7, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    claiming a catch when it is clearly not out is quite simply cheating - read the rule book - it states in the preable... "To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance: (a) to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out..." simple, clear cut and to the point! ahhh but how do you prove it... the rule book also is clear cut about walking - if the batsman is out and he wants to walk - he may, otherwise the fielding side need to appeal and the umpire needs to make a decision. There is no reference to the issue of walking or not walking in the preamble which covers the "spirit of the game" ergo, not walking is not cheating.

  • mdvizag on January 7, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    I do not agree with the author's contention. If the batsman doesn't leave on knowing that he nicked then he is making a fool of himself since there are 11 other players suspecting his credibility and integrity. That itself is an insult to the batsman. Once he knew that his teammate was given notout when he nicked in the first innings, Clark stood his ground shamelessly for the umpire to give another not out decision, which would have changed his record in the series. He should have been banned for atleast a couple of matches for this. Again he claims a ground catch to get rid of Ganguly. The umpire, Benson, checks with Ponting, who is an all time cheat, to know whether he caught it cleanly. How can you trust a person's integrity, when he didn't leave when nicked and how can you trust the word of a captain who claimed a pad catch minutes before eventhough he took it on the bounce to be clean?

  • frednork on January 7, 2008, 9:37 GMT

    if a batsman wants to walk - fine, if they dont fine. if the expectation is that a batsman should always walk if they know they are out, then conversley, they should stay when they know they are not out (given out) after all, the assumption is now that the batsman is honest and if hes not walking he mustnt be out... hmm cant quite se that one working. My view is let teh umpires do their job unhindered and give them as much independant assistance to do that job - the teams jobs are to bat, bowl and field and appeal! And batsmen do walk when they are not out - look at dean jones - walked to a catch on a no ball (didnt see the call - and was run out as he walked away from the crease towards the pavillion) as for the conspiracy theorists that espouse that the umpiring is deliberatley biased towards Australia - the aussies are so far in front of teh rest of teh world its boring - its killing crowds and creating incredible tension - why would any cricket administration want that?

  • oldmanofsea on January 7, 2008, 9:30 GMT

    Ricky Ponting believes that Michael Clarke is the best judge to decide whether he took the catch cleanly. I am sure everyone in the world would agree that Rahul Dravid is the best judge on whether he nicked the ball. So, can Rahul Dravid notify the umpire that he did not nick the ball. Martin Williamson is right in one thing. The umpires are there to do a job. And that job includes deciding on clean catches as it includes deciding on nicks, lbws and other dismissals. The decisions may involve looking at Television replays, but it is still their decision to make. Just as the umpire should not ask Dravid whether he nicked the ball or not, he should not ask Ponting or Clarke whether they took the catch cleanly.

  • tellina on January 7, 2008, 9:30 GMT

    I disagree with martin Williamson's article on walking. If you play a game, you play by the rules, and being caught is out. Is Williamson saying that the batsman should stand and wait for the decision in every case, even bowled? Or caught in the deep? The umpire's decision should only be needed if the batsman is genuinely unaware that he has hit it (rare!) or if the catch has been cleanly taken. Leaving the decision to the umpires adds to their already considerable burden - the fewer decisions they have to make, the fewer mistakes there will be. If the players don't like the rules of the game, then they should play something else.

  • Sebina on January 7, 2008, 9:28 GMT

    Players should not be blamed for not walking. Obviously the Indians have forgotten that the last time Australia played ODI'S in India, the aussies lost the last match when Murali Karthik edged one through to the keeper, but stood his ground. Australia lost the last ODI because Zaheer Khan and Karthik took India home.At the post match presentation, Karthik admitted to Rameez Raja that he nicked one through to the keeper but the umpire did not give him out, so he stood his ground. Fortunately for the australians they had already won the series. Before Indians or the BCCI accuse the aussies of not playing in the spirit of the game, they should remember that match and how they won.

  • Naykar on January 7, 2008, 9:10 GMT

    "The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him.".... If I am a batsman and I am nicking one, I am dead sure that I have nicked it.. So, I am deceiving the umpire by staying on.. On the other hand, if I am appealing for a bat-pad, I may not be sure all the time about whether or not there was a bat... In this case, I appeal to the Umpire for a decision (Which is what appeal was primarily meant for!!

    I think the author is right when he says that one is deceiving and the other is just leaving the decision to the umpire - But, I think the batsman not walking is trying to deceive the umpire whereas the fielder is merely making a case.. This is a batsman's game and this consistent with that philosophy.

    So, Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds deceived the umpires whereas Gilchrist merely requested the umpire for a decision.

    Venkat

  • ZubairS on January 7, 2008, 9:03 GMT

    I play club cricket where we have amateur umpires (they are paid for umpiring on the weekend, but it's not a fulltime job). These guys try their best, but there are times when they don't spot obvious dismissals. It's my opinion that at our level, more than at test level, we expect batsmen to walk when they blatantly nick the ball, to uphold the spirit in which the match is played. A player who fails to do this earns himself a reputation... and the spirit the game is played in takes a turn for the worse. I walk when I nick it, unless I'm not sure, because I feel it's cheating if you don't. But if our opposition does not walk, I don't either. I'd say that teams should take their cue from their opposition. Teams playing Aus should not expect their players to walk, and should not walk themselves.

  • Slip51 on January 7, 2008, 9:00 GMT

    To mac9ue, ImSriram and luke principal I can only believe that your astonishment that Benson would ask Ponting about Clarkes catch stems from the fact you are unaware the teams had an agreement to do precisely that. To the myriad of posters referring to Pontings catch off Dhoni as being "grassed" shows you have a poor understanding of the rule govering a catch, if the ball is controlled beforehand the fact it touches the ground is irrelevant. In this instance Ponting clearly grasped the ball firmly in the air it was not juggled and it did not jar loose when he landed a clear definition of controlled.

  • Gords on January 7, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    If not walking when you know you are out is not cheating then what is it? It is no more a blatant disregard for the rules of the game than claiming a catch when you know it is grounded.

    There should not be a debate on this. Call it what it is. Cheating.

  • Thalaivar on January 7, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    I think there is a difference between waiting for umpire to give out and walking. The difference is if the batsman knows that he is out it is in the spirit to expect him to walk like if you hit and you are caught in covers or square leg you dont wait for umpire but you wait if you are caught in slips is not sporting. Similarly if you appeal for a LBW it is fair but not for a catch that you know that you did not pick cleanly (like the one ponting appealed or clarke claimed) then it is not fair. Aussies are tough and good at the game and they dont need to resort to such ugly tactics to win game. They can play fair and still beat everyone in the world. They dont need to put pressure on Harbajan or Murali when their own players are suspect as well in terms of bowling actions. Ultimately the problem is as Sunny mentions there are two standards when it comes to judgement and that is the problem and nothing else. How can you justify Clarke standing when he was caught in slip?

  • rahul4u on January 7, 2008, 8:38 GMT

    No walking is no cheating..very true..claiming catch which wasnt clean is cheating..I think ponting is the most dishonest/cheat in cricketing world...he is a great batsman but not great or even good sportsman..it was clearly 13 vs 11 and umpire has won this match for them otherwise they were not in position to win this match...call them a world champions? yeh sure...where is the spirit ???

  • edy50l on January 7, 2008, 8:30 GMT

    Not walking is cheating the opposition of a rightfully earned wicket. no matter what the rules state.

  • IndiFan88 on January 7, 2008, 7:59 GMT

    The reason that any game has umpires or referees is so that controversial decisions are made by a neutral person who is not involved in the game. If a batsmen knows he might have edged a ball but doesn't walk, I don't blame him because its the umpires job to know whether he's out or not. Why have umpires if the players are going to make all the decisions. I completely blame the umpires in the SCG test because its their job to know. And if they're uncertain, then they should consult the third umpire who has video replay. I do agree however, with comments that Sunil Gavaskar was making as a commentator for the match- You cannot trust the word of a player claiming to make a catch when he himself does not walk when he is out. I still cannot believe that Benson took Ponting's word on Ganguly's wicket instead of Third umpire review. (Neither ponting not clarke walked when they knew they were out)

  • crickster on January 7, 2008, 7:54 GMT

    Martin...I do agree with you when you say "Not walking is not cheating." Ruling somebody out is the job of the umpires and not any player. However if you are trying to advocate for the on-field behaviour of some of the Aussie players, then I would like to strongly disagree. 1. While Symonds standing ground, when being caught behind off Ishant Sharma can be justified, how would you justify Michael Clarke standing his ground when being clearly caught at slip? What was he trying to ascertain? 2. As you rightly point out, judging somebody out is the duty of the umpires. Who was Ricky Ponting, then, to adjudge Sourav Ganguly out? Ponting definitely had the right to appeal but not to pass his judgement. One can hardly fathom what Mr. Benson was thinking when he referred the decision to Ponting!!! Why didn't the umpires consult Kumble when the Indians were appealing for a caught behind decision against Symonds? Hopeless umpiring and appalling on-field behaviour by the Aussies.

  • VKFan on January 7, 2008, 7:53 GMT

    Totally disagree with Martin W here. It almost doesn't matter what the Laws of Cricket have to say on this topic. The laws of any game cannot supersede basic human morality. All we're expecting is honesty and fair play. In a game like football, is it ok to kick an opponent and wait for the referee's decision? In cricket, in fact, these "not walking" cases have a bigger influence on the outcome than a mere kick on the shins in football, or a checked stick in hockey, or a leg pull in water polo... All of these, including "not walking" are instances of unfair play. As is claiming a catch when you know it's not clean. In Clarke's case, how could he possibly have been "100% sure", as he claimed, when he was diving and tumbling over? If the umpire wasn't sure, he could've referred it to the 3rd-ump, or given the benefit of doubt to the batsman (which is what the Laws require).

  • niroshanb on January 7, 2008, 7:43 GMT

    I totally Disagree with this writer because there are times even umpires can make mistakes. But why can't players be genuine and play honest cricket. As we have heard cricket is known as a Master's Game which is originated from England. Unfortunately today England and Australia consists of most cheating players in modern day cricket. I'll just point out couple of small examples which you might have forgotten now. Lets go to 2007 World Cup Finals. Is Gilchrist's inning is legal ? what is the action taken by ICC about that ? In the same match he was given a catch to the Sri Lankan Wicket keeper Sangakkara. It ws only Sangakkara knew that it fallen short. It was clear that even tv cameras couldn't show it clearly. If Sangakkara just burst out with shouting and celebrating no one could stop Gilchrist is walking back to the pavilion. So if Sangakkara wasnt genuine there and if he claimed that Gilchrist is out .. players should be genuine in the game. i can show lots of examples like that.

  • Wathbun on January 7, 2008, 7:29 GMT

    The issue of walking is completely frivolous. Not walking is not cheating. Dravid received a terrible call in the 2nd innings, and was given out caught behind, should he walk on a close call next test? Gilchrist is trying to promote walking, and in fairness he will walk when he nicks it, but I wonder if that will last when he's given out on one he misses. If Symonds was clean bowled the ball after he nicked it, would anyone even remember him not walking? Or was it that he good enough to convert his luck into a hundred that has left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

  • pankscr on January 7, 2008, 7:01 GMT

    I agree with the view that it is ridiculous to expect a player to walk. At the same time, it is also a fact that the Australian team has cheated to win the second test at Sydney. It is true that Ricky Ponting made a sporting and a honest gesture on the second day of the test by admitting a catch taken on first bounce, but there was no honesty during the last day. He claimed catches that were not taken cleanly. There was no real need for the Aussies to stoop to such a low level. They were leading 1-0 in the series and with the Perth test to come, they had an obvious advantage and even a draw in this match would have done them no harm. But instead, they chose to resort to unfair means not only to win the test match with the help of umpires, but also play unfair mind games against the visiting Indian team (Harbhajan Singh incident). I as an Indian always had a great respect and regard for the Australian team and believed that they are true sportsmen but this episode has shaken me.

  • gradds55 on January 7, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    speaking of honesty... perhaps a certain Indian spinner should admit what he said, and take it on the chin !!

  • joshreid on January 7, 2008, 6:51 GMT

    To me, not walking is cheating. It doesnt say it in the rules, but nor does it say "a player must believe he caught the ball before claiming a catch".

    In no other sport is there a presumption of honesty and that to me is what makes cricket the best sport there is. The presumption that it will be a game played by gentleman in a spirit that no other sport maintains. Ofcourse, for one reason or another that character and "spirit" has been sapped away.

    I find the article above to be at odds to itself. It is not cheating to snick a ball to a fielder and then stand ground claiming not to....correct? Yet the author would have us believe it IS cheating to claim a catch off the ground. Whats the difference? Both are an attempt to decieve an umpire to recieve an advantage.

    I subscribe to Kerry O'keiffe ideology. Walking should be compulsary. You dont walk on an obvious wicket, you should cop a fine or a ban.

    As an australian I am loathe to accept that low low victory.

  • Blesson_Gregory on January 7, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    When a batsman hits a ball out into the deep and gets caught, he walks off without waiting for the umpire to give him out. When he stands his ground after nicking a ball, he is basically telling the umpire that he is not out, challenging him to give him out.

    When a player appeals against an opposition batsman knowing fully well that he is not out, he is telling the umpire that the batsman is out.

    How are these in any way different from a fielder claiming a catch that he hasn't caught? I don't have a problem with batsmen not walking, or bowlers appealing or fielders claiming catches. Just leave ALL the decisions to the umpires.

    I don't understand how the Australians expect the opposition to trust them when they say they have caught the ball, while they stand their ground after nicking the ball and appeal even when the batsman is not out?

  • ElricPuffin on January 7, 2008, 5:56 GMT

    The Australian's didn't cheat; they got some generous decisions, but that isn't cheating. Now, the Indian team isn't averse to cheating when it suits them. Dravid rubbing sweets onto balls isn't exactly in the spirit of the game either is it? On the first day of the Sydney test I watched an Indian player stand on the ball digging his spikes into it and roll it around under his foot: is that in the spirit of the game?

    To his credit Ponting has tried to get people to commit to walking and the message from other teams has been a resounding NO. In that background I would be taking the position "the other team has stated outright they won't walk, why should I?" It makes me laugh; the day the Indian team is known for walking and playing the game with unswerving honesty...that is the day I won't laugh outright when they claim the moral highground. Dhoni should have walked because he knew it hit his glove and Ponting caught it: why aren't the losers calling him a cheat?

  • Amol_1908 on January 7, 2008, 5:54 GMT

    I agree with the views that players have no business of walking. And none so, against teams like Australia, who have their "OWN" 2 sets of Rules - one for themselves & one for their opponents. If you don't walk yourselves - do not expect others to walk. If you leave the nick issue to umpire - leave the cleanliness of the catch issue also to the umpire. And most importantly, do not try to bias the umpires by your reputation as walker or fair fielder (appealer). BTW, how about standing the ground on a BOWLED wicket in the hope of umpire declaring no-ball?

  • baracus on January 7, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    I totally agree Martin, it is just ridiculous to expect a player to walk whenever they nick a ball. I am sure every player from every country has edged one and held his ground, why is it that when the Australians benifit from an umpiring decision they are labelled as 'cheats'. Not that I want to start an us against them argument but I have read alot of comments on how the Australians are bad sports and they play against the spirt of the game. Readers must have a short memory as the umpiring was equally as appalling in the 2001 series in India. Harbhajan on this occasion was the benificary of several atrocious umpiring decisions which clearly cost the Australians. In fact I am sure on one occasion I saw Harbhajan appeal to the umpire that Matthew Hayden was taking too long at the drinks cart; the attentant was also given out!!

  • Ich bin das Evo on January 7, 2008, 5:26 GMT

    In all this anti-Australian hype, we are forgetting what a wonderful test match it was. Despite the umpiring errors, or perhaps even because of them, we witnessed an outstanding game that came down to the wire, just as test cricket should. as for the walking debate, i remember well yuvraj singh not walking in melbourne when he was clearly out, and then having the gaul to show terrible dissent when (rightly) given out a few balls later. That the ICC failed to punish him for this clear dissent is unfathomable...as for ponting's catch, the ball was clearly in control before the ball touched the ground, which in my opinion is all that matters. If the ball is completely controlled and then brushes the ground, what difference does it make? and you can't tell me Dhoni didn't walk because he thought ponting dropped it, he knew he was out...

  • kvik on January 7, 2008, 5:22 GMT

    Martin, I would be very interested in your views on doping.

    If someone says, "Yes, I used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, but since no one caught me doing that, I think it is perfectly fair" how is it different from saying "Yes, I know I nicked it and was caught fairly, but since the umpire did not do his job, I can claim I was being perfectly fair"

    If you still maintain your stance, I suggest you look up Mr. Bjarne Riis and the Tour de France, for one, to help straighten your thoughts on this.

    Vijay

  • aquahunt on January 7, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    Mr.Martin Williamson

    here is not question of cheating or whst is in the law of cricket. the most important thing here is sportmen sprit. we call cricket a gentlemen's game so we accept deginity and fair game from everyone... tell us one thing from bottom of your heart ....you will also admit that India played better cricket then australia and India would have won this match if this umpiring blunder have not occur.

  • Superjohns on January 7, 2008, 5:18 GMT

    I think it is unfair to single out the Australians as cheaters when players from every team from any level of cricket around the world don't walk. It should be stated that most people who play cricket are cheats, not just players in the Australian test team. It is unfortunate that it has been highlighted in the recent test match on the Australians behalf. I'm sure you'll find contentious decisions given in the batsmens favour throughout cricket history that has affected the outcome of the game. Yes Ricky Ponting is wrong in asking other people to walk when he won't himself! I also find that most of the people who argue that the batsmen should walk are the same who complain that the fielders word shouldn't be taken for dubious catches. So how can you argue for the umpires to make decisions on these dubious catches then not for caught behind decisions. I'm of the belief that it should always be the umpires decision. That is after all what they are being paid for!

  • Sachu2k6 on January 7, 2008, 5:16 GMT

    Hi Martin, I dont remember exactly in which match, but there was a match in which Sachin was given out and called back after seeing replays. Can you remember what was the reaction of Ricky, the so called PLAYER WITH INTEGRITY. I would say that i am 100% sure that India would have squared the series if there was enough sportsman spirit and integrity. Adam Gilchrist is one person who must be respected in that regard. So do i remember Sachin walked away himself in the famous Sandstorm match eventhough he wasn't given out. And everyone knew what would have happened if he stayed back.

  • Likeit...ILoveit on January 7, 2008, 5:09 GMT

    To walk or not to walk... Cheating is breaking the rules (laws) There is no Law on walking! Stand your ground. Accept all decisions good and bad, but you don't have to like them. In every competitive sport in the world players push the rules (laws) to the extreme, there are very few exceptions. I dare you to name them!

  • FairPoint on January 7, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    Martin, let me quote you first, "the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him." Now go back to the decision where Dravid was given out in the second innings when his bat was neatly tucked behind his pads. There are four people who should have a clear view of this. Dravid himself, the umpire, the bowler and of course without doubt the keeper who would have seen the ball deflect off the pad and would have seen the bat was no where near the ball. Going by what you said to me clearly Gilchrist is a cheat for having gone up in appeal so vociferously. Same goes for Symonds, something we already now since I dont have too much regards for the honesty of Symonds, Ponting and Clarke. It shows in their character when they stood their ground after clearly nicking the ball.

  • MIEL on January 7, 2008, 5:01 GMT

    Dear Martin,

    To be fair I do not believe with the pressures of International cricket anyone would walk, neither is it fair to ask them to walk. Here it would be useful to take a page from American football: a. A ruling on the field can undergo official review if the 3rd umpire deems it necessary (to avoid making game-changing mistakes, as in this test). b. Teams are allowed one challenge per inning, which they retain if their challenge is upheld. This is to ensure that teams have a shared responsibility if a decision goes wrong. The resulting game will be more fair, and it has had a dramatic effect on the perceived fairness in American football. Now only if you and your colleagues would be willing to champion the cause by using the mighty pen that you wield.

  • anandpatwari on January 7, 2008, 4:59 GMT

    hell martin. as you see clark's dismissal when he nick to keeper there is meaning of staying back and waiting for umpire descision. when you nick to first slip there is no meaning of waiting for umpire decision that is itself says it all.

  • LukePrincipal on January 7, 2008, 4:53 GMT

    Martin,How in the world did you come up with such a nonsensical line of argument? What do you think the batsman is trying to achieve by "Not walking"? Is he merely leaving the decision to the umpire? No, the batsman is telling the umpire that he thinks he did not nick it. This will surely influence the umpire, expecially if it is someone who has shown in the past that he would walk. So "Not Walking" when you know you are out is simply not cricket. In this game India had to bear a larger brunt of bad decisions than Australia and it would be fair to say India lost the match to umpires. The umpires did display a peculiar fondness towards believing Australians. Symonds was believed when he did not walk. Ganguly's and Dravid's dismissals were also a result of umpires blindly trusting Australians. Ganguly's decision in particular raises a pertinent question. Why did the umpire not refer it to the third Umpire? Why was square leg umpire not consulted? Guess we will never know!

  • parb on January 7, 2008, 4:52 GMT

    Seems to me that it is a case of bad losers. I totally agree that some of the decisions were bad (and the umpires should be dropped), however, the fact remains that if you look at the history of the game every team has had decisions go with or against them. Australia and every other country have lost many games on bad umpiring decisions just as they have won games. So to the Indians I say - get over it and either show us how you can play (and we all know you can) or pick up your bat and ball and go home.

  • kannan171286 on January 7, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    I won't accept with your point Mr.Martin... It is just like you have killed a person an waiting for the judge to make his own judgement in favour of you and letting you do the same mistakes again and again... As you can see when clark got edged from anil kumble's ball and caught cleanly by dravid he knew that he was out and he didnt even move away from his crease and waiting for umpires decision, clearly u can see that its not a human nature... The persons whom you told that they knew that they were out never moved away from his crease and waiting for umpires decision, i can say clearly that i wont consider them to be humans, cricket is a game which is made for humans and not for others... we should try to accept our own mistakes an try to be human... An umpires make the mistakes cause he is human and he makes human errors, so why dont we use fully computerized so that we could able to reduce the human errors and make the game look so accurate in all its way in the near future... thanQ

  • BadCompany on January 7, 2008, 4:50 GMT

    I don't think players should be expected to walk if there is a fine edge, it is the umpire's job to ajudicate, after all. (Whether or not it is cheating is a completely different matter, however.) However, by not walking you should lose the right to complain about marginally bad decisions (eg Ponting's lbw). Really bad decisions (the Symmonds catch, stumping) are another matter though.

    As for taking the Aussies words on taking catches... if Ponting seriously expects anyone to agree to that, he is deluding himself. I'm not sure if the catch Clarke took yesterday was clean or not, but in the 3rd Chappel-Hadlee ODI a few weeks back Clarke claimed a cacth that clearly fell short, and if you watch the replay, there is no way he possibly could not have known it didn't carry (his hands were cupped facing the turf when he took the ball).

    Ponting's team is clearly the best in the world. However, their attitude leaves me cold, and their next loss cannot come soon enough.

  • rpramod on January 7, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    Not walking after knowing that you have edged a ball is definitely Deceiving the umpire, infact more deceiving than fielders appealing for a bat-pad or an LBW.

    A bowler gets his wicket only after appealing(in some cases pleading) their case. I think not walking is therefore a greater act of deceiving the umpire.

    And why teh double standards - leaving the decision to the Umps in one case and demanding a decision in another??? The Aussies got it WRONG.

  • PrasannaG on January 7, 2008, 4:47 GMT

    It is hard to understand what rational premise Martin is taking in finding a difference between the two. The truth is there, there is no difference if a batsman nicks and doesnt walk or a fielder doesnt take the catch cleanly and appeals. In both cases, the concerned parties are trying to claim something that they know is untrue. I am not saying all batsmen should walk if they know they are out. Just that Martin and (more importantly) Ponting are absolutely wrong in considering these are two different issues. I am surprised how Ponting is getting away with such a blatantly stupid idea, thats all.

  • slsr on January 7, 2008, 4:46 GMT

    There is absolutely no difference between a batsmen not walking after nicking and fielders claiming turfed catches (or phantom bat-pads). In both cases, there is an obvious intention to deceive the umpire - there can be no moral high ground for one when it is denied for the other. Modern sport pays a heavy moral price for being so competitive. The Aussies put a 16th consecutive win ahead of everything else and you cannot fault them for that. To beat the Aussies, teams must not only match them in the quality of their cricket, but must also learn the Aussie skill of subtly manipulating incompetent umpires to win favorable decisions. While I have no problems with such methods (and it is up to the ICC to ensure umpires are competent enough to avoid such manipulation), my only point is that the Aussie's claim of being the guardians of a "fair and entertaining brand of cricket" is a truck load of rubbish (entertaining, may be, but fair, is a claim bordering on a joke).

  • WalkSchmalk on January 7, 2008, 4:35 GMT

    Finally somebody at cricinfo finds it within themselves to post something not totally India-centric. Well done sir. Walking is an anachronism that causes more problems than it solves. Umpires are undermined and there will always be suspicions that a walker didn't walk when it suited him not to.

    The line you draw between claiming non-catches and walking is accurate also. Remaining silent (i.e. not walking) is not a crime by omission. It merely affords the umpire and the game the respect they deserve by allowing the decisions and rules to be enforced. Dishonestly claiming catches is another matter altogether and should be rubbed out by the team captain or, if he isn't up to the job, the board.

    Finally, I am entirely sympathetic to the right of the Indian team and fans to be disappointed with how the balance of poor decisions went in this match but I object to this flowing over to criticism of the Australians for not walking and claiming catches deemed not to be catches by some people.

  • VEDaHAM on January 7, 2008, 4:31 GMT

    A gentleman cricketer would be expected to walk when he knows he is out. However, walking must not be expected from all players and such an act should be classed above the standard sporting behavior. Not walking when a player knows he is out is not cheating but its definitely gaining an unfair advantage. Such a player would argue that he is respecting the umpire's decision since it's always easy to respect something thats going in your favor. Would Symonds, for instance, have "respected" the umpire's decision had Yuvraj been given not out in the second innings when he edged the ball to Gilchrist? Most cricketers - indeed most humans - would use such loop holes to suit their convenience. It would be almost ridiculous to expect 100% honesty in any sport. However, if and when a batsman walks it should be respected, maybe even encouraged for it is upon strong moral fibers that this sport of the gentlemen rests.

  • Potukuchi on January 7, 2008, 4:30 GMT

    The writer has given an excellent list of examples where cricketers didn't "walk" but did he also look into the other side of the coin? It is truly remarkable that one believes the player has to leave the decision to umpire wheather he is caught but for a 'bat-pad'the umpire is deceived!

    I am sorry but I totally disagree with this atitude. May be one might think I am writing under the disappointment of the Sydney test but it is not the case. Only if Symonds or any other player(like Ponting) for that matter walked on his dismissal would whole India right now be hurt by the umpiring decisions? So please consider this fact too.

    Kartik Potukuchi

  • AjayB on January 7, 2008, 4:24 GMT

    I think you are just trying to use smoke and mirrors to justify the absolute murder of sportsmanship by the Australians. In doing so you are insulting the intelligence of too many people. That the Australians did what they do best, cheat, intimidate and stoop to any level when faced with competition, is evident to one and all.

    This article has no meaning and self-respecting fora should think once before wasting space. Barring Ponting's dismissal in first innings, every single dubious and absolute shocker went against India. A third umpire could not decide on a stumping when every single other person knew it was out, is plain and simple cheating. What is really worse is that an umpire did it. This could probably be used as a text book definition from now on. I used to like Australia for the way they play. Not anymore. Every other cricket team plays with sportsmanship. Australia lacks it completely as was evident in the dismal show last week.

    There is something to roots after all

  • Dylstra on January 7, 2008, 4:18 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating, the umpire has a job to do, let him do it. What is ridiculous is admitting at the end of the day that you were out, when not given. What would motivate someone to say that? Certainly not honesty - there was no honesty 130 runs earlier. It only makes the umpire look foolish and provides fodder for people already disgruntled with the umpiring. And of course it makes the player look like a complete pratt.

  • Chris.Rulz07 on January 7, 2008, 4:18 GMT

    Martin you make an excelllent point. If you walk it proves you're a honest player thus the umpire will be lenient on that player next time around. Walking is definetly not cheating, the umpires are there for a reason and get paid a huge amount just to say OUT or NOT OUT. If you let the umpires do their job then it extracts the pressure they have when making split-second decisions. I think if India would've won or maybe a draw they wouldn't be lodging a complaint. I have to say I have to accuse the Indians of sour grapes. Just because they didn't win doesn't mean they have to blame the umpires maybe they should look at their own team. I mean Wasim Jaffer for a start is pathetic

  • ImSriram on January 7, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    Martin...I not only second your point but third, fourth and fifth your point. If players are to leave the decisions to the umpire then why the hell did Ponting show his finger to Benson indicating an out, when he didn't even catch the ball. Being a gentleman he must have left that decision to Benson alone to decide.

  • valleycricketer on January 7, 2008, 4:15 GMT

    First of all, I'm Australian.

    India should learn from the lessons the English learnt in Australia last summer. The english got some stinkers of decisions in games. There was press about it, but they went on and kept playing. The English lost all five games but continued to play hard and pushed Australia in some circumstances.

    If it weren't for the money coming out of India this issue would not have been blown out of proportion. Their cricketers get whatever they want, when they want. This isn't India, this is Australia. Just like umpires aren't robots, their human. Umpires make mistakes, because they are human. Even the leader of Indian cricket made a horrible decision during the second test, appealing for an LBW off a ball Brad Hogg slapped through cover, clearly off the face of the bat. Am I going to label him a cheat? No. Anil Kumble is a damn fine cricketer, like Sachin, Laxman, Dravid, and like the whole Australian cricket team. As for the rest of the Indians, well...

  • Marto1974 on January 7, 2008, 4:08 GMT

    To those that claim not walking is cheating - for God's sake, check the rule book. It clearly states (and I paraphrase for the sake of avoiding long-windedness) that the player shall be deemed out when the umpire gives him out. Where in the rules does it mention that if you hit it you should walk? It must be hiding in the same subsection that suggests that the Indian cricket team deserve special treatment. If we are all to walk then what is the need for an umpire in modern day cricket? Surely then we should just have TV cameras and every time there is an appeal we go to the video. How long winded and impractical is that? Did Dravid walk when Slater caught him? The only walking an Indian ever did was when Gavaskar walked off the field and took his fellow opener with him after being given out to an LBW decision. The game of cricket is based around accepting the umpires decision is final. You cop good and bad decisions but you move on.

  • yanky20088 on January 7, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    Ya agreed,not walking is not cheating.This was not the point against India.Ponting claimed to caught the catch even if replays showed he had grounded the ball,same with clarke.........Who will clarify whther they were teliing truth or not????????? As we now australians are great actors........ How do you explain Symonds given not out when he was out thrice but Indians given out whan they were not out.......Can you??????Can there be such paradox.Leave aside Bucknor,what was third umpire doing inmaking desicions?????

  • Oak_7 on January 7, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    Are players of a nation having a bad influence over the umpires for making such mistakes. Mistakes tend to happen and are random in nature, not to favour one side all the times. The conduct of this test adds to the sus if decisions made by some officials are biased. Exploring the motivation for such acts, do umpires making sure that they be invited by a nation for officiating next match by doing these favours?. Sigle out these two is not fair either. We saw Rudi apolagised to Sangahara after the last Hobart match and the whole saga about the one -day WC final at West Indies. How many bad decision Lara had to face withAlthough not walking for obvious outs might look odd, players should not be blamed for. What they robs from us is the sheer pleasure of entertainment a close match brings-it is sad.

  • nag88 on January 7, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    Martin,We are mixing two issues here Empiring and Then comes Walking. Every country is using these for their own advantage(once after they lose or win)eg: Ponting wanted Murli kartik to walk off in the recently concluded Indian one day series. But he never did in Sydney. So its all happening in front of all of us and nothing new on the double standards (few exceptions from players).If when one Knows he is out and empire believes he is not what we ask him is to walk.Does it mean when not out he must STAY?? then where is the end? What is alarming is bad decision making by empires at first stage. I say this becuse empire is the ultimate judge and he must be given the right to take decisions and we all must respect the same. However the empires must exercise all the technology available and make the final call as they not only ruin the spirit of the game(thans those syd empires!) but some times kill the career of a batsman. Itshigh time we must have some quality decision makers as empires

  • santanuray on January 7, 2008, 3:59 GMT

    Hi Martin, You are right that "Not walking is not cheating", but what about saying some harsh words pointing Ricky Ponting for claiming the catch by Clark to be out? What do you think? I am sure that if it was Kumble asking for a catch which actually bounced before going to the fielder, you would spend few pages about writting against him. Dear friend, would you please define the meaning of racial abouse?

  • BalkrishnaSapre on January 7, 2008, 3:57 GMT

    To say batsman not walking is not cheating and false catch claim is cheating, this is favouring batsman. By nature of game fielding side has to appeal to get a wicket. After appealing false catch also fielder/bowler leaves decision to umpire they don't force batsman out. If they win the appeal for false catch they get same satisfaction as batsman being favoured for not walking out. So anyone taking unfair advantage of umpires inability to know the fact is CHEATING. Be it a bowler fielder or batsman.

    So umpires should not trust anybody on their reputation, in case of slightest doubts they should take help of technology/3rd umpire. and even technology not helping to find the fact give benefit of doubt to batsman as per rule.

    This is true for umpires doing job with fairness, not for bucknors, besnsons. They can just leave the job of umpiring to Ponting/ Clarke and enjoy aussies winning.

  • AnkurRB on January 7, 2008, 3:56 GMT

    Well, lets put it this way, there has never been a test match such as this. I have never in my life following cricket for 25 years seen such horrible decisions. My gut feeling is Steve Bucknor should be investigated for corruption charges. There was definitely more to the decisions than meets the eye. As for Australians and the spirit it only takes application of half an hour of pressure and you will not find bigger cheats than them. Lets not forget Greg Chappell every thing legally done when he asked his brother to bowl an underarm delivery. I think thats the epitome of their fairness. Australia's definition of FAIRNESS: " We will play within the RULES as long as we are winning, as soon as we get to know we might loose, let the spirit fo for a toss". Why don't any other team needs to sign a memoranum of spirit, because no one else cheats as the Australian's. Lets not forget Australia V/S South Africa, Australia v/s Pakistan. Australian's are CHEATS.

  • srisri2709new on January 7, 2008, 3:54 GMT

    hi, its very simple.

    India took 15 wickets in 1st innings Australia took 10 wickets in 1st innings India took 7 wickets in 2nd Innings Australia took 8 wickets in 2 innings

    Summary total - India - 22 wickets - Australia - 18 wickets

    final result - Australia still wins the test match...

    With this kind of umpiring standards and India in net effect batting with 4 specialist batsmen ( Yuvraj & Jaffer ruled out)....I guess it is still a great performance from our side. Don't you guys agree with me..

  • VincentSunder on January 7, 2008, 3:48 GMT

    Mr Williamson,

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong in a player waiting for an umpire's decision. Absolutely within his rights to wait. It is the double standards between what is being preached and practised that leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and has made one completely lose respect for some of the Aussie players. Take the example of Gilchrist, who screams loud about walking when he nicks and not appealing unless there is an edge. What was he upto when he screamed his guts out in the second innings for against Rahul Dravid?

    Fair enough, one can appeal and get even incorrect decisions in their favor. But DO NOT PROFESS WHAT YOU DO NOT FOLLOW. Do not project a saintly image when you are hard-nosed, win at all costs side!!!

  • thecoolkid on January 7, 2008, 3:44 GMT

    Agreed the umpiring standards dropped to a all time low but that doesnt mean you go around pointing fingers at each and everyone you find. The indians have blown things out of proportion. The only reason for their behaviour could be that for most of their senior players this is pobably the last tour to Australia and after beating a 3rd grade paistani side they had considere themselves to be larger than life and now with no chance of winning the current series they are taking out their frustratin on everyone australian. Indians want the Australians to walk when they are out, why didnt the indians ask murali kartik to walk in the odi series in india and what about the match in england where dhoni was saved due to the umpire. What about the umpiring stadards when teams tour india? The indians should stop creating bollywood drama and have a look at the mirror once, before pointing at others.

  • Damo76 on January 7, 2008, 3:40 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating. Anyone who has played cricket at any level would know that. Umpires are there to do a job, it is not up to the players to make decisions about rules/dismissals. Look at any other sport in the world, take Rugby League for example. Have you ever seen a player stop and admit throwing a forward pass that lead to a try that won a grand final. Not likely. Just like in cricket, decisions on whether a batsman nicked a catch or whether a bowler overstepped the crease is up to the umpire alone which is the way it always has been and always will be (I hope). The human factor is a part of all sports and I hope that technology does not eliminate that ever.

  • whits106 on January 7, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    The rules state that if you nick/edge/hit whatever you want to call it, you are out (if it is caught on the full). Therefore by not walking, you are not following rhe laws of the game and therefore cheating. You said clearly in your story Martin, that appealing when you know something isn't caught/edged is cheating.

    I can think of around 6, maybe 7 if not more of these times when AUSTRALIA appealed - when clearly at first view to the naked eye he didn't.

    Australia would therefore be CHEATING

  • samac on January 7, 2008, 3:30 GMT

    I wonder if there would be such outrage if the Test had been drawn or India won? It is not cheating if you then expect a batsman to accept a wrong decision in the fielding teams favour. As to using technology to make decision no one wants to see the game bogged down with needless time wasting by going to the third umpire for every decision (there is plenty of time wasting now!) Perhaps we should look to what they are starting to do in the tennis. Give the batsman and fielding team a limited number of appeals to the third umpire on decisions for every innings. If they are right they get to keep their appeal, if they are wrong they loose the right of appeal. This should stop questioning of every decision and gives a much greater chance of a FAIR outcome.

  • jegster on January 7, 2008, 3:30 GMT

    i simply cannot believe the posters in this column. To say that Australian's are the only ones who don't walk and ergo are cheats is completely disingenuous. When has an Indian batsman ever walked to a non-obvious dismissal like Gilchrist. C'mon people who about a balanced view. Yes the umpiring was of poor standard but as Mr Williamson quite rightly states "There is nothing in the Laws that requires a batsman to walk" and neither Australian, Indian, Pakistani or any other team in the world do so willingly

  • voyager on January 7, 2008, 3:25 GMT

    Bad decisions are made b/c of element of doubt. That is why the process should be consistent. It will reduce occurance of wrong decisions and more importantly reduce occurance of unecessary controvercies. Both doubtful catches and edges decision should be done by umpire or refered to third umpire. If your philosophy is that players have their job and umpires have theirs than it should be applied consistently. There are more chances of doubt in fielder's mind whether or not he has executed the catch cleanly compared to a batsman whether he has nicked the ball or not. If fielder knowingly claiming a illegal catch he is taking advantage of umpire's inability to judge, same way if batsman (by not walking)is also taking advantage of umpires inability to judge without shadow of doubt. If you allow batsman to not to walk than it is fair that fielding decision should also be made by umpire(s).

  • antique on January 7, 2008, 3:22 GMT

    Unfortunately,cheating seems to be largly accepted if you can get away with it within Australian cricket at every level.Having played myself for the equivalent of 46 seasons, including over 10 in Australia, and eight seasons professionally, I have always known if the ball touched the turf if it was a touch and go catch. I cheated once claiming a catch when I knew I had just Touched the ground, something I am not proud of.The fielder in 99.999% of the times actually knows the truth . As for caught behinds technology can sort the problem out at Test level.Unfortunately winning is so important to many Australians , that unless the culture changes we will get more of the same.It is unfortunate that this aproach is not appreciated by most other cricketing nations. If only Australia knew how their cricketing achievements were sullied by this and their sledging.

  • Davew on January 7, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    There is no difference between edging a ball and standing your ground and grounding a catch and claiming it as fair. In both cases you can argue that the player shouldnt be doing the umpires job for them, but in both cases you'd be wrong. An umpire exists to make contentious decisions, not obvious ones. They are appealed to for bowled etc to ask whether everything was fair with the dismissal, not if the ball hit the stumps. With a catch behind you have two sides to the argument. The fielders, who are appealing to the umpire because they believe the batsman has edged the ball, and the batsman. If the batsman doesnt think he edged it, he has the right to stand and ask for the decision to be made. If on the other hand he knows he edged it but still stands, he is in effect lying to the umpire, just the same as claiming a catch that you know was grounded.

    And in both cases misrepresenting yourself to the umpire is cheating, however you try to dress it up.

  • bluetin on January 7, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    They show of high dudgeon exhibited in the responses to this article are a load of clap trap. Should you only walk for snicks? What about a plumb LBW? What about a Board instructing a groundsman to prepare wickets to suit their team or sloping a wicket to aid the team's spinners? What about playing on reduced size, dry fields so that the home teams poor running skills aren't exposed? What about a team deliberately slowing play and wasting time? What about unfit, fat players feigning injury so they can get a runner? Surely these cases are closer to cheating then obeying the laws of the game. Don't forget that the Umpire is the sole arbiter of the game and not walking has been going on since the time of the great Doctor. When a team or country can clearly show it is without sin then and only then can they consider complaining, until then do what every cricketer since Adam was a boy has done, had a bit of a whinge in the sheds and got on with it. The next decision can go the other way.

  • Rajan_TR on January 7, 2008, 3:16 GMT

    For most parts of your arguement, it is well panned out. Fine, umpires have a job to do and so does a robber who always claims to be innocent irrespective him being accused. The point here is, 'Is walking different from appealing'. Can you tell me, if walking is a fair job, then not appealing when there is no edge or edge on the pads. I am sorry, but to accept the fact that Gilchrist leads the pack by walking and appealing to stuff when there is clearly not out. Remember Sehwag getting LBW in 2004 series and many others. I think, one must think, Aussies are humans as well, they are no angels. Losing is tough and hence perhaps it hurts one;s ego when you are the recieving end. Aussies are known for winning ruthlessly, winning thats all it matters, whether its right or wrong, all they say is , its for others to decide. Indians never asked others to walk or refuse to appeal. Why Aussies are so desperate to clean their image of being dirty? So what you say Mr. Martin?

  • PickosPicks on January 7, 2008, 3:05 GMT

    I hate the way people keep trying to justify not walking by using the old chestnut that it balances out the bad decisions you get. Two wrongs don't make a right! The laws of cricket are simple - if you hit the ball and it is caught you are out. If you know this has happened, and you stay at the crease then you have made the conscious decision to disobey the rules of the game. I understand why highly paid sportsmen would choose this course of action, but please - call a spade a spade and don't try to justify sanctioned cheating.

  • RavindraV on January 7, 2008, 3:04 GMT

    Sure, not walking is not cheating.

    Claiming bump-catches? My friend, that's cheating. There were not one, but two instances of that on that final day of the second test. If you disagree, let us - you and I - sit together and view the footage. There's no ounce of doubt that both (Ponting's claim that wasn't given and Clarke's that was given) were both actually grassed.

    Don't try to bring into this discussion the fact that Ponting disclaimed one in the First innings. There's a proverb that loosely translates to 'just because you are a hermit, you cannot rob your neighbor'. This case is similar. Ponting disclaiming the first-innings catch does not make his wrongful claim right!

    And Mr. Ponting has the gall to be angry that someone questioned his integrity? I won't - question his integrity that is - and he is justifyably angry at that because he is a common cheat. Plain and simple.

  • cricketlover1 on January 7, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    Hi Martin

    I quote you "Not walking is not cheating. Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly is; the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him". Deceiving the umpire is what that took place on day 5 of the Sydney test. There was no fair cricket played in SCG as the Australian team players were more worried about continuing their winning streak at any cost. Adam Gilchrist is rated one of the best sportsman in Australia however knowing a very clear difference between noise coming from the ball hitting the pad and the bat, his appeal seemed pretty animated. I don't expect players to walk when they nick one to the slips but standing their ground when they edge one to the slips is absolute rubbish and stupidity. I play for a sub-dist club and even we don't do that. I really feel for a team that fought hard.

  • kjerryk on January 7, 2008, 2:58 GMT

    I think cheating is too strong a word and in sports it should only be applied in case of someone taking drugs to enhance performance. But there is something as important in sports, and that is sportsmanship. When Michael Clarke stood for the decision from Bucknor after being caught in slips, it showed that the Australians are not playing in the true spirit of the game. He was willing to continue batting had Bucknor ruled him not out. It is only fair for Kumble to reconsider his decision of allowing the fielders to decide on catches, which he had agreed to as he believed Australia will play the game in right spirit.

  • DeepFineLeg on January 7, 2008, 2:52 GMT

    Martin, You claim that claiming a catch you know you haven't caught or the batsman has'nt got a bat to (as in the case of a bat/pad decission) is cheating. Then the same logic should apply if you happen to be the batsman that knows you hit the ball. Either way, you are trying to decieve the umpire and that is CHEATING. The only way to stop this debate is for the ICC to bring in a law which states : A batsman shall not leave the field unless he either is given out by the raising of the umpire's index finger or has the permission of the umpire to do so.

  • Plague on January 7, 2008, 2:50 GMT

    I agree with Martin Williamson. Not Walking is NOT cheating. However, it is a gentlemanly behavior. But I cannot say that Australia are the only team who does not walk. I have seen that happen in all the teams. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar himself have not walked in previous games. For example, he nicked it in the 5th ODI between Australia and India but he didn't walk and went on to score 79. That got India to their score and made them win the game. Does that mean he's not a good player or a cheater?

    Umpire makes mistakes and that's a common feature nowadays in cricket. If a batsman is given out when he is not, he does not have the ability to protest. Then why shouldn't he accept the negative and the positive decisions made by the umpires? Australia aren't the only ones benefitted from the tournament. Ponting and Lee were given out when they were not. It happened for both teams.

  • SLMaster on January 7, 2008, 2:44 GMT

    Decisions have been worst for visitors this summer cricket in Australia. There have been major errors in When Sri Lanka toured Australia month ago as well.

    To fair to all 3rd umpire should be called. If umpires can stop the game just to discuss the boundry or six why can't it be for crucial appeal. Of course not like Symond's decision.

  • mac9ue on January 7, 2008, 2:32 GMT

    Martin, this is just splitting hair. Not walking is the same as claiming a non-existent catch - both are untruthful but as far as rules go, both are not illegal and that is where the matter should rest. Far more serious questions on Symonds and Ponting's character than schoolyard cheating have arisen at the end of this Test.

    That said, the Symonds caught behind and Clarke's claimed slip catch are entirely different issues. One was a genuine umpiring error. The other was a case of a captain influencing the umpire's decision by citing his past record (a fictitious one, as we now know) and quite astoundingly, the umpire going along with it. I am stretched to recall another instance where an umpire consulted the fielding captain to give a batsman out!

  • okadba on January 7, 2008, 2:24 GMT

    Even if I forget everything. Cheating is misusing trust. Ponting appealed catch of Dhoni. Replays should he grounded the ball. Either he lied or he didn't realize (human error). Coming to Ganguly's catch - There was not one video which confirmed a clean catch. More so the little view possible seemed it was more doubtful. The way clarke and ponting "acted" as if they caught the ball over the shoulders. In the little cricket I know, benefit of doubt is batsman not out. Regarding trusting aussies - Remember Slater - dravid catch in 2001 and th antics. Dravids catch, Pontings appeal intentional or human error. For me and some others case rested, Ponting and team won by crook.

  • Samwise67 on January 7, 2008, 2:24 GMT

    I have no problems with people not walking. My issue is with this belief that a person who does not walk when he is out should be trusted to claim a legal catch. There is no difference in my opinion. If the umpire has to make a judgement when the batsman is out, then he should make a judgement on whether the catch was clean and not ask the fielder. I don't see why Aussies comentators and writers cannot see this side of things. Also, this nonsense about things evening out over a career does not carry much weight with me. If umpiring is truly bad, the decisions should be split evenly between the two teams. Does Mr. Williamson believe that the decision making in this test match was even? If he does, he was watching a different game than I was. To my mind the third umpire decision against Symonds was the worst piece of biased homefield umpiring I have ever seen and this is from someone who remembers Khizar Hayat and Shakoor Rana.

  • MontyKorma on January 7, 2008, 2:20 GMT

    (continued)

    Dravid, unlucky, but you should be on report for not walking immediately AFTER being given out. Ganguly, you probably were out and arguing AFTER being given out should also have you on report. Sharma, you were so clearly out that standing there in MOCK PRETENSION has permanently cast doubts over your credibility on the field.

    Final comment: Why is everyone so black and white on this issue? Umpires make errors of judgement in decision making and so do players in appealing. Just because Ponting says something is or isn't out does not make it so. Umpires exist to adjudicate. LET THEM and ACCEPT their decisions, allowing them the same latitide for error the players have. I don't hear anyone (please excuse me Pup for using you as the analogy) accusing match fixing because he got out first ball. Grow up everyone!

  • Dubby49 on January 7, 2008, 2:17 GMT

    "Why is cricket only major sport in the world where some people demand that players do the umpires' jobs for them?" - Because it's the only sport where the umpire does not take suo moto action. A batsman cannot be given out unless the fielding side appeals.

  • ark40 on January 7, 2008, 2:07 GMT

    By your logic if I walk into a convenience store and steal a Coke, but don't get caught, then I am not a criminal. Why? because you can't expect me to do the job of the police. The laws clearly state what constitutes a catch, if the batsman knows he nicked the ball he should walk even if for some reason the umpire doesn't hear the nick. The umpire is a human and chances are will make an error some times, if you as a batsman know 100% that you are out not walking is equivalent to stealing a coke and getting away with it. The same applies to the fielders.

  • 2scompany on January 7, 2008, 2:06 GMT

    I'll tell you who the real victims in all this are...The umpires... Yes they get a few decisions wrong..but guess what?? They are human just like you and me. They could get every decision correct in a game, and would they get congratulated...probably not. Somebody might say "He had a good game" but that's about it. If he gets 1 decision wrong, which may or may not affect the game, he get's slaughtered. As for walking..it's a personal choice. Yes the umpires are there to do their job.. and yes they may have walked 50 years ago..but that was then and the game of cricket has changed alot since then. I myself play and there are times when I have wlaked and times I haven't walked when I knew I was out. Would I call myself a cheat? Absolutely not..But I guess it's really easy for us all to judge from the couch of our living rooms...

  • sijan on January 7, 2008, 1:55 GMT

    after following the matches so ardently, and seeing one team getting benefit of shoddy umpiring disheartened me. As far as the issue under contention goes, if NOT walking is not cheating, then standing on ground when umpire gives not out is also unpunishable. actually unmpire should be punished for giving wrong decisions. yes, they are there to do their job the best. if so, then make them do it the best!! WE dont pay to see shoddy decisions. peace out!!

  • kiwi_daz on January 7, 2008, 1:38 GMT

    Very well written Martin. From the sounds of the indians, they would like to replace Bucknor and Benson with Kumble and the BCCI. We scrutinise the umpires from our lounge chairs with the slow motion replays, etc and we expect our players to give up their wickets. It is a simple philosophy of innocent until proven guilty. It has to be unreasonable doubt and the umpires are the judge and jury. It would be like saying the defendant or prosecution make the decision and they are normally settle out of court. Allow the umpires to do their jobs and cricketers should stick to theirs. Spectators and Boards should also stick to what they do best, watch the game and pay the players. Otherwise cricket will become a game of match fixing like we like we've seen before.

  • kr_from_melbourne on January 7, 2008, 1:29 GMT

    Let me make sure I understand how this argument of "Everything evens out" works when players choose not to walk: - Stay at your crease if you have nicked an edge. If you want to follow the example of the future Australian captain, Clarke, stay at your crease even if you have nicked it to the first slip. The umpire might not notice it and let you bat on when you don't deserve to. - This evens out when the umpire rules you 'out' when you sometimes didn't nick an edge or were not plumb on an LBW.

    Extending this logic to life in general this is how it would work: - if no one is watching, try to steal something that is not yours. If you are a cashier, dip your hand in the till when no one is looking. Or sneak out that pack of Gillette blades from the supermarket. It will even out in the long run. - After all there is a chance that you can get mugged every once in a while!

    Now I get it. That clears it all up!

  • crickethound on January 7, 2008, 1:26 GMT

    The laws do not require batsmen to walk; so they cheat. Technology is available to prevent this and should be introduced. The Aussies are magnificent cricketeers but when they are under pressure to win a game, they become very capable cheaters. Other teams cheat, but it seems that the Aussies are more bold face in their performance of cheating and complaining. There is so much wrong with cricket at the moment that the ICC needs to wake up. The documentary shown of the Mumbai test in which crowds were allowed to tease Symomds with racial taunts was deplorable. How could the Indian government have allowed that to happen.Even the commentators have their collective heads buried in the sand by not calling the game accurately. How could one commentator say Ponting was not aware that the ball he caught was pressed into the turf. And finally the greatest travesty of the game was the awarding of "man of the match" to the biggest cheat in this test.

  • Jacoron on January 7, 2008, 1:26 GMT

    By your reasoning, Martin, if I walk into a supermarket and steal a few items off the shelf and walk out with them in my pocket, if the security cameras don't catch me in the act, I'm not a thief. After all, the cameras are there to catch thieves, and I certainly am not going to walk up to them and own up if they don't do their job. I can rest easy now, knowing if I do something like that, I have Martin Williamson to tell the rest of the world I'm not a thief simply because I was not caught in the act.

  • the_keg_in_oz on January 7, 2008, 1:25 GMT

    Thanks TheProphet. Finally someone impartial enough to admit that Indians do not walk either.

    It is hypocritical to single Symonds out as a cheat because if go through the last few years of cricket you would find instances where almost every batsmen of all nationalities has not walked and got the benefit of the poor decision by an umpire. Does that mean all players are cheats? I don't think so.

    And vica-versa, almost every player has been at the wrong end of a bad decision as well. You can understand them not wanting to walk when they know it is more then likely the next bad decision may not go their way.

    Maybe if batsmen are given the right to appeal if they have been given out when they know they are not out. Dravid would have had a good case yesterday and could have appealed his decision and been given not out. This may mean more batsmen would walk.

    Anyway, I'm man enough to admit that India was treated harshly by the umpires but to claim cheating is outrageous.

  • Darrensl on January 7, 2008, 1:18 GMT

    Lets remember that the umpires made the decision not to give the batsman out, where does it say in the rules of cricket that if a batsman knows he is out he should walk. I just hope that the next time a player from another country is given not out when he knows he is out and does not walk that all you people who are writing in complainig will do exactly the same thing. I suppose for umpiring you could get the batting team to put two guys out to umpire like in park criket then there will never be a correct decision. Grow up all you whingers out there its a game and people make mistakes remeber the world cup Aust v Italy move on.

  • Underarm_detractor on January 7, 2008, 1:07 GMT

    I think that the burden of being out lies with the umpire. It doesn't matter to me if the batsman knows he has nicked it or not - the batsman must be given out by the umpire. If not, the burden for the failure of being given out lies with the umpire - not the batsman. Symonds should feel not any guilt since rightly it was nick and there was the chance the umpire might not pick it up. That's what happened and the burden for that lies with umpire Bucknor.

  • Sandos on January 7, 2008, 1:02 GMT

    If "not walking is not cheating", then why do the Australians bother all batsmen around the world when they do not walk. If they want to be the moderators of the game, then they should set the right examples themselves. Also, other teams are often fined for excessive appealing when they rightfully can but when the Australians appeal for bull-shit reasons, they do not get fined and on top of that get rewarded with wickets.

    In all, Australia is winning, cricket is losing and the billions of cricket fans are being cheated by Aussies and the ICC as a whole.

  • gablett05 on January 7, 2008, 0:43 GMT

    It is obviously safe to assume the majority of the people who commented have not played much cricket. What is the umpire for? He is there to make the decision! Countless times when batting you will be judged out when it is not the case. Then why should you feel the need to walk on your on behalf. Let the umpire decide. It is his job, and it will provide the healthiest balance.

  • tumbdethecricketer on January 7, 2008, 0:42 GMT

    Mr Martin. The point you miss is that this is about finding the truth. When a batsman edges the ball, he knows it most of the time. By standing his ground despite knowing he is out is cheating. As in case of Andrew Symonds. How is this not deceiving an umpire? By standing his ground, the batsman is making a statement to umpire that he is not out. You are only trying to defend what suits you.

    If a fielder claims a catch when he knows he has grassed it or he knows that there was no bat contact is also cheating. But hey if the batsman can stand his ground, why cant a fielder appeal? Let them appeal everything they want to? and leave it to umpire? No I dont agree this is the way it should be.

    Human errors and infact prejudices (that Bucknor invariably shows against India) are here to stay. Technology should be used at its best to find out the truth.

    When we find out the truth and only truth, then only one of the two parties will be less aggrieved.

  • tpjpower on January 7, 2008, 0:41 GMT

    Martin, I heard a suggestion on the radio commentary that players who are shown to have been dishonest - by not walking when they were clearly out, etc. - should be docked part of their match fee after the game. I think this could have some impact, but I am also concerned that such a measure would simply lead to non-walkers being hailed as self-sacrificing heroes. The problem is that Australia not only refused to play in the spirit of the game, they refused to admit that their opponents had been given an utterly raw deal. If the Symonds caught behind should-have-been-dismissal had been given, and all else was equal, India would have WON the test comfortably. If you then combine the remarkable luck of Symonds (I think he was trapped in front for Kumble's hattrick BTW), Ponting et al with the misfortune of Dravid, Ganguly, RP (tighter LBWs were given not out) and Jaffer (bowled off a noball), it clearly indicates the least balanced cricket match I've seen (and I'm an Australian too).

  • RajeshV on January 7, 2008, 0:25 GMT

    I accept that all batsmen are not walkers and that an umpire needs to make a decision because he is paid for it. So he is for making decisions about clean catches. Why should then be a players' word taken and upmire go by it? Ponting has been the one who insists on teams taking the player's word on the doubtful catches, why should that be the case. My question to Martin is simple. If Ponting, Symonds, Clarke (standing after eding to slip is more ridculous though) don't walk when they know they have hit the ball and they want umpires to make the decision why would they be trusted when they claim a catch. How can opposition teams trust their words when they know they can cheat? Why should an umpire go by their words? Can you enlighten us on that?

  • kala_bacha on January 7, 2008, 0:15 GMT

    Mr. Martin you make good point but why would we believe to players which himself asked for third umpire when he had been in similar situation? Why would we take the words of player who stand on crease even his edged goes to 2nd slip. We are living in 21st century and you quoting 19's things when there was no hawk eyed or third umpired were there. Those days not even they apply more then 4 cameras for full match coverage. Every sport gave a chance to team manager or team officials to challenge outside cricket world. Last but not least as a Pakistani after Pakistan team I really like Aussies prior to this match but after viewing all 5 days of first and second test match I put Aussies on the bottom list even less then Bangladesh or Kenya. At least those countries team including captain do not cheat and say proudly "This is not cheating". In today technology world Ponting and Co. understand that they can not deceive people all over the globe. Aussies needs to rethink there attitudes.

  • ben_849 on January 7, 2008, 0:07 GMT

    couldn't agree more with you martin umpires have a job to do, nobody is in a better position then they are, there is no doubt in my mind that everyone who has played the game at has feather one through to the 'electric wicky' and then sworn blue to their, mate, their brother, their dad that you missed it by a mile, if u say you never have then u sir are a liar. when it comes to fielding if you can't trust your opposition when then claim a catch then you are playing the wrong sport, Cricket has an element of human error, if you take that away you ruin what makes the game great, there will always be bad decisions, but for me thats just one of the reasons i always tune into the next game.

  • tim2010 on January 7, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    even though most people are pi**ed off because of the fact that India lost but I think Martin has a good point to make. Leave the umpire's job to him. I will definitely have a lot of respect for teh walkers but I will not refer the non-walkers as cheaters. India, on numerous occasions, have benefited from poor umpiring. For instance when Kumble took his ten wickets in an inning back in 1999 Parkash, the then umpire, made numerous blunders. At least four of the decisions were dubious as later confirmed by Bishan Singh Bedi.

  • timbo2008 on January 7, 2008, 0:00 GMT

    There is a lot of nonsense being written. Many of the umpiring decisions in this game were wrong, no question. And it's unfortunate that the decisions have fired up many fans to the point that they are making all sorts of ridiculous accusations. Steve Bucknor a cheat, I don't think so. As a cricketer walking has to be one of the most stupid things a batsman can do. No fielding team calls you back when tney know you should be not out. They take their chance. If an umpire gives you not out, take advantage of your good fortune.

  • timbo2008 on January 6, 2008, 23:59 GMT

    There is a lot of nonsense being written. Many of the umpiring decisions in this game were wrong, no question. And it's unfortunate that the decisions have fired up many fans to the point that they are making all sorts of ridiculous accusations. Steve Bucknor a cheat, I don't think so. As a cricketer walking has to be one of the most stupid things a batsman can do. No fielding team calls you back when tney know you should be not out. They take their chance. If an umpire gives you not out, take advantage of your good fortune.

  • GaryWJ on January 6, 2008, 23:54 GMT

    Most players who have played the game seriously are NOT walkers. I seriously wonder about these armchair critics as to whether they ever picked up a bat and played serious cricket.

    I played a lot of cricket as a pretty good all rounder and never walked, and neither did anyone I played a lot with. And I played a lot in a Churches competition as an honest religious person. The umpires made the decisions, thats the spirit of the game as I understood, and I never questioned good or BAD decisions as a batsman or a bowler....and I got quite a lot of those, including critical occasions in finals.

    But claiming non catches or stupid, consistent appealing for obvious not outs...THAT is NOT cricket

  • Shan_Karthic on January 6, 2008, 23:39 GMT

    Martin,

    By the way, can you please tell us what do you think a batsman should do, when he has hit/edged the ball clearly to first slip (let us leave alone edging the ball to the keeper that was heard around the world)?

    Rather than being subtle about taking advantage of biased umpires (Benson may have had a bad match but Bucknor certainly did not. This has been his consistent behaviour. He needs to see a psychiatrist not eye/ear specialists. He has been consistently, over the years, making biased decisions against subcontintental teams and in favour of England, Australia and South Africa. Subconsciously he may be thinking that those teams are superior because of their race.), Clarke was outright saying, "We know the umpires will support us. Even this may be ruled not out."

    Pressurizing/misleading an umpire should be considered cheating. All teams do that and Australia carry it to the extreme.

    Is that playing the game in the spirit of sportsmanship?

  • ajit_m on January 6, 2008, 23:31 GMT

    By not walking when you are out, you are deliberately changing the course of the game. This needs to be kept in mind. But I more or less agree with your statement in the article. Even if the batsman stands his ground, it is the decision of the umpires to decide whether he stays or not. And if the umpires are not sure, refer it to the third umpire. Unless we make the umpires take such decisions, there is no way we can improve the standards of umpiring. If each and every decision needs to be referred, then why do we need umpires? We can get a few blokes of the street and ask them to just stand there!

  • Milann84 on January 6, 2008, 23:21 GMT

    Well written Martin. For has long as cricket has been played there has been conroversy about the umpiring. There have been a number series where there has been the impression that bad umpiring decisions have affected the result of a match or the series, usually favouring the home side. What this shows is that two independant umpiries has not solved any of the problems. No doubt the two umpires in this test will not be feeling the best when they review all their decisions, but they were honest mistakes, and umpires have always made a number of honest mistakes. It is time the ICC looked at the umpires again. My suggestion is that their should be one umpire from each nation for each test. The touring country would send two or three umpires on each tour depending on the length of tour. Have the officiating umpire first stand in a domestic match on the ground that they umpire the test. With the scrutiny that happens today it is unlikely that there will be a return the past.

  • danmcb on January 6, 2008, 23:00 GMT

    Maybe India should use their financial muscle and just tell Australia they can go to hell until they can organise a fair game. (By the way, I'm a British cricket fan.) When the game is as obviously crooked as this, who needs it anymore?

  • bluz13 on January 6, 2008, 22:59 GMT

    Hmm...executive editor had to take pains to defend shoddy umpiring that overwhelmingly aided Australia to take 2-0 lead this in this series. I wonder why. Without cliched claim of caucasians jumping to rationalize conduct of other caucasians, here are some simple questions - if Australia is really so good then why did Gilchrist use non-cricket equipment to win WC finals? If they are really so good, would they support elimination of umpiring by humans and replaced by technology? It is scandalous to keep old men, who continue to err on side of Australians, to judge supposedly fair contests. Is India only team to complain about poor umpiring when playing Australia? It would be really interesting to see how well Aussies perform when not playing with 13 players.

  • Brumbies on January 6, 2008, 22:48 GMT

    Its an interesting discussion... Walking or not walking??? But if we look at a bowler, if he disagrees with an umpires decision & demonstrates this, he can be fined & punished for disputing the umpires call. Well, isn't walking when the umpire has given you NOT OUT, disputing the umpires call? All walkers are actually not letting the umpires umpire, so we either have to let the bowlers dispute calls as well, or punish the batsmen for disputing the calls when they walk.

  • chris_gin on January 6, 2008, 22:43 GMT

    I agree with Martin Williamson. Not walking is not cheating. If a batsman is expected to walk when he has definitely nicked it even though the umpire has given not out, then he should be allowed to remain at the wicket if he has not nicked it and has been given out.

    You can't expect a batsman to own up when he has nicked it without allowing him an equal right to inform the umpire when he has not nicked it. Otherwise it is just unfairly balanced against the batsman as he gets the worst of both worlds.

  • janemelbourne on January 6, 2008, 22:30 GMT

    Martin, you are completetely missing the point here. all the public want to see is a fair and honest result, and that did not happen in the Sydney test. Bringing up players from the past and quoting there views is irrelevant, because a distortion to the outcome of the game was caused by the appalling Andrew Symonds decision. Also, the Shane Warne legacy of constant pressure on the umpires has continued with this Australian team, resluting in many bad umpiring decisions being made, overwhelmingly against India.

  • Skoth on January 6, 2008, 22:24 GMT

    Martin, By your logic then - law enforcement people have a job to do, and people can do whatever illegal things that they want to do, and if the law enforcement doesn't catch them then they have not done anything wrong. Is that what it all adds up to - if you are not caught cheating then you have done no wrong.

    Here in the US some people are fond of saying, "if you are not cheating then you are not trying enough". May be you subscribe to that way of thinking...

  • Noompa on January 6, 2008, 22:14 GMT

    One may adopt Mr. Williamson's viewpoint that walking undermines an umpire's authority ergo to not walk may actually be the lesser of the two evils (a view I disagree with, since the umpire's interests are not of paramount importance, but that is besides the point as far as this post is concerned). However, as Tony Greig noted, if such is the case, batsmen need to stop showing their displeasure at unfavourable decisions. Consider the cases of Yuvraj Singh in Melbourne and Ricky Ponting at Sydney: both were given leases on life when they were incorrectly ruled not out early on in their innings, only to be incorrectly given out subsequently (Ponting's bat-flinging histrionics were particularly distasteful.) Furthermore, if batsmen are willing to undermine the umpire publicly in such situations, how is it any better than the case of a batsman walking, if one is to truly address Mr. Williamson's concerns? Are we losing sight of the fact that ultimately, the right decision must be made?

  • gradds55 on January 6, 2008, 22:14 GMT

    So let me get this straight, the batsman should walk when he thinks he is out, but has no recourse if given when he knows he didn't edge it. ?? In the 1st innings, Ponting did indeed edge it, when given out LBW, and I bet every Indian player knew that, it was a BIG edge. Pup not walking could easily have been disappointment rather than anything else. Anyone who has actually played cricket and got out that way will often pause and think, "gees, that was a stupid shot". And how many people noticed how reluctant the final Indian was to leave the crease. As for Ponting's non-wicket catch off Donhi, I'm pretty sure it would have felt to him as though the catch was taken fairly, ball firmly grasped in the hand well before his arm hit the ground and ball never dislodged. Only the camera angles shows the side of the ball "may" have touched the ground as he slid. It is not cheating to claim a catch you thought you took cleanly.

  • Jazzy68 on January 6, 2008, 22:13 GMT

    Absolute poppycock. Not walking when you know you have edged it is exactly the same as claiming a catch that isn't - in both instances you are deceiving the umpire, as he has to make the decision and you are unduly influencing that decision - therefore you are cheating. Furthermore, to justify cheating by saying it has been happening since time began and citing examples of people who are cricketing legends who have done it as justification for it being acceptable or the fact that nobody walks anymore means that it is not cheating, are both truly ridiculous arguments.

  • kobewalker on January 6, 2008, 22:04 GMT

    very well articulated & accurately portrayed - the best write-up on cricinfo over the past 24 hours !! this is a complicated issues where 3 different things come together... 1) umpiring skills that affects the quality of decisions 2) desires of teams/players to play-to-win at all costs as long as they are 'within the laws' 3) desires of teams/players to play by the 'spirit' of the game - which is in the preamble to the laws unfortunately - there is a widely varying spectrum of views on the current reality & future state of each of these. #1 & #2 can be regulated by the ICC. #3 is what makes cricket such a charming game !! even if the spirit of the game used the word 'conscience'.. the die-hard play-to-win teams will still have contentious behaviour that will easily be justified with some logic or the other :)!

    request - courage you write about cheating as applicable to batsmen - i think not walking is deceiving the umpire as is lifing their bat on lbw appeals to indicate a nick

  • manishksah on January 6, 2008, 21:50 GMT

    Leave it to the umpires completely? What Mr. Williamson has overlooked is there are times when fielders do not realize that they have grounded the ball before taking it cleanly. In that case how can one expect from the fielder not to appeal or not to celebrate. Even if the fielder has slight doubt, he has to appeal (unless he is dead sure the ball was grassed) and see what umpires say. There is no harm in doing that, but it's umpire's job to make sure they are 100% convinced that the catch was taken cleanly and if you have seen the footage you can bet your million dollar that Benson had no idea if the catch was taken cleanly. He neither ask help from Buckner but instead asked Ponting and made decision based on Ponting's call, that's simply ridiculous. People have written a lot about Buckner and no doubt he made decisions beyond imagination, but those were instant decisions. But Benson and 3rd umpire had lot of time to make their decisions. The other two umpires were as guilty as Bucknr

  • slewis69au on January 6, 2008, 21:45 GMT

    Let's get something straight here - Ponting has NEVER requested that other teams walk - Adam Gilchrist has NEVER requested that other players walk, in fact he has often said the opposite, that it's a personal decision for each player. End of story, I'm sick do death of people saying that either of these things have happened.

    I do agree that there is no real difference between not walking and claiming a catch that you didn't take however I don't agree that either thing is cheating - to repeat the facts that everyone is ignoring here - it's not the players decision as to whether they are out or not it's the Umpires!

    I'm also getting pretty sick of the insinuation that it's only Australians that do this - there have been plenty of incidents with ALL teams in world cricket where the players haven't walked or people have claimed catches they didn't take, why is it we only see the names of Australians on this page?

    Jealousy is a terrible thing people...

  • Jeor on January 6, 2008, 21:21 GMT

    I agree with Martin that batsmen have a right not to walk; after all, if they're out wrongly to an umpire's decision, they have a right to benefit from the other side of the coin when the umpire gets it wrong in their favour. I admire those batsmen who do walk, like Gilchrist, and I believe Lara did at times, and I believe it's a very sporting gesture, but it's a personal decision, and I don't think there should be any crusade on the part of any player to convince others to walk.

    My question remains though - what about walking when you edge it to slip? I thought Michael Clarke staying at the crease after edging to first slip was a petulant and unsporting act from someone who should know better. It was certainly not a good look, and it gives a bit of credence to Kumble's assertion that only one team was playing in the spirit of the game.

  • SammyV on January 6, 2008, 21:07 GMT

    First of all, cricket is the only major sport where if you claim something you have not done (claiming a catch, that wasnt taken cleanly). you dont get punished. i agree that not walking is not cheating, but it is unsportsman like. same with every other sport. in football you often notice the players saying they hit the ball out of bounds, that is sportsmanship. claiming a catch that you have not taken, that is cheating. that is like scoring a goal with your hand, though it has happened in the past its has gone down as cheating.

  • rishir on January 6, 2008, 20:43 GMT

    Why cant there be a simple rule whereby if a player does no walk if given out and if the existing technology proves that the player was indeed out, the same player is banned from playing the next game. The same rule, with some flexibility, can be applied to fielders too.

  • mayankg on January 6, 2008, 20:22 GMT

    Yeah.. Not walking is not cheating.. But how can you trust those people for the catch they are claiming in the field?? Like Mr. Benson did when self proclaimed FAIREST cricketer, Mr Ponting said that his fielder Mr. Clarke (who waited for umpire's finger to walk when catch went to Slip fielder at knee height). After that he tried to claim a catch of Dhoni which everybody know how it was caught. Not sure if Ponting watches replays or not. But atleast he should watch the catches he claimed and STOP talking about his team playing fair cricket.

  • tgevans on January 6, 2008, 19:14 GMT

    If you care about the spirit of the game, you should walk. This is why players like Bradman, Gavaskar, Lara, and Tendulkar are true legends. If you don't care about the game, then it is certainly within the rules to stand your ground. It is also why Ponting and Symonds will be regarded as mere hacks despite their impressive achievements. The more serious problem is the complete breakdown of umpiring standards and possibly even, neutrality.

  • canuck on January 6, 2008, 19:09 GMT

    Martin,

    when you know you are out and you don't walk, it is cheating. Call it anything else is pure hogwash. The same way, claiming a catch when the ball has has clearly hit the turf is cheating. By that standard, Ponting, Clarke, Symmonds and Hussey are just that....cheaters.

    Millions of cricket lovers have been cheated over 5 days at Sydney. That is just terrible for cricket and I wonder if there must be a way to sue the cricket authorities for letting this happen.

    Cheers!

  • nvmurthy on January 6, 2008, 19:04 GMT

    Mr. Williamson, This is the most elaborate splitting of hair I have read! When you know you are clearly out (example Andrew Symonds, 1st innings, 2nd test), and continuing to bat . wow... if this is not cheating I dont know what else is. It could have been justified only if Mr. Symonds did not know what a catch is or did not know he had edged it. Cheating is knowingly taking an unfair advantage, and trying to get away with one if you can! Staying when you know you are out, decieving by claiming catches that were not clean, making deceiving and incessant claims with an intention to force the umpire to err have all the same end intentions. Mr. Ponting takes it to the next level of cheating by setting up a credibility stunt in the previous innings! Cricket associations need to take a leaf out of pages US Sports (baseball, football, ..) to enforce fairness -- when you have cheaters, you need a high tech policing to enforce the rules!

  • RaviNarla on January 6, 2008, 18:42 GMT

    Not Walking is not cheating. But when it comes to knowing whether a ball has carried, the fielder is the best person to judge. Why should Clarke be trusted to rule on a potentially match-turning catch when he stayed at the crease on day four after edging a ball to first slip?

    Earlier Ponting's had a request for all teams to have an honesty system for these incidents has been rejected by the rest of the world - he had a small victory before this series when Kumble agreed the captains would have the final say on contentious catches.

    Fortunately for Ponting, who gained credibility for the decision by refusing to accept a low catch in the first innings decided it to be otherwise. Austalians insist they play the game "hard and fair" and are shocked whenever their outlook is challenged.

  • abhays on January 6, 2008, 18:34 GMT

    "Not walking is not cheating. Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly is; the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him". I don't know and can't understand what make you feel these two scenario's are different in any way. In both cases a player is trying to get a decision in his favour by leaving everything to Umpire (thats play by rules in your language) and thats what would be good for the game. And in my opinion both are correct.It is not an ideal condition to expect some to walk or not to appeal in the world of pressure and so called professionalism. But the only thing that should be improved in umpiring to get the right decisions.

  • Arrestin on January 6, 2008, 18:28 GMT

    I am with you on the point of walking, Martin. I don't think we can expect each and every batsman walk, if they know they are out, since they are humans as well and not everyone would have the courage to leave the crease. How many batsmen would have the guts to walk - say in a WC final with two runs to win and one wicket to go? However, I also feel the third umpire should have a more pro-active role in the game - in fact there should be two umpires watching the replays and they can consult before making the final decision. If it is clear that the umpire is wrong in making a decision, then he should be able to overrule the decision. The ICC must come to terms with the fact that cricket is a global sport with a lot of money and interest involved. The result of any match should reflect the actual performance of the teams and not incompetence of the match officials! By the way, has anyone considered the involvement of umpires in match-fixing (read Bucknor in India's matches)?

  • PottedLambShanks on January 6, 2008, 18:26 GMT

    With all due respect to the author, you are entirely incorrect. Much as we saw with Hussey in the CBA series game against England a year ago, when the batsman knows he is out and refuses to walk he is in direct contravention of the spirit of cricket. The important distinction which you have failed to note is between knowing and not knowing when one has nicked an edge combined with not walking.

  • Dilbaasuran on January 6, 2008, 18:26 GMT

    Not walking may not amount to cheating. But appealing for catches which are no where near the bat and captain nodding for a twice grounded catch are all cheating to me. Sorry aussies.

  • abhays on January 6, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    "Not walking is not cheating. Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly is; the same goes for claiming a bat-pad catch when you know it was nowhere near the edge. The difference is that in one you are leaving the umpire to make his decision, in the other you are openly trying to deceive him". Both the scenario's mentioned by you above are same in all respect. The batsmean knows he is out but he in essence deceives the umpire by standing tall there. Same way the fielder knows the batsman is not out but he appeals in the hope of getting the wicket. I accept that not walking is no cheating, it is just play by the rules but just don't try to differenate between the above two scenario's you mentioned.

  • greg1 on January 6, 2008, 17:49 GMT

    i am a firm beliver in walking. cricket is a gentlmens game, but it is hardly played like that at all. these days teams will do anything to win, including not playing within the spirit of the game. when this happened, as it did in this test match, it not only puts viewers off watching, but tarnishes the game as a whole

  • Abra1ca2dabra on January 6, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    If the intention is to ensure that best cricket team wins, the decisions should be made using best resources: people & technology.

    If elite umpires govern people, ICC should do similar on the tehcnology front.

    a) If replays can tell you that someone is out or not then the umpires should use it & they should be encouraged to use it. It takes another minute or so after all.

    b) If the umpire decides not to & umpires are human & can err, the teams should be given the opportunity to challenge the decision.

    When games are played as hard as they are & as human beings we are prone to err & sometimes our desire to win out weighs most others, it makes all the more sense to do the above.

    Honesty, spirit of the game, fairness are attributes that individuals & teams' who value it will upheld regardless of above changes.

    Take a look at tennis:

    "foot faults" line machines/umpires. "player challenges" exist for every set.

    Keep cricket "today's game"...

  • Ciprious on January 6, 2008, 17:34 GMT

    I cant believe some of the stuff I am reading. In the modern day I know of no one that walks - with the exception of Adam Gilchrist. To say that it is cheating by not walking is outrageous. You are therefore saying that pretty much every game of cricket in any country is not being played within the rules or the spirit of the game. There is ALWAYS going to be decisions in games that are poor....its human nature and regardless of how angry people there are at the state of umpiring in this particular match...things DO inevitably even themselves out. If u want a hard decision to swallow, just Michael Kasprowicz 'gloving' it to Geraint Jones of the bowling of Harmison in Ashes O5 - effectively losing Aus that match and perhaps the series. At the end of the day the umpires are there to do a job and if the Aus Cricket Side is only winning by cheating then they must be the best sporting side of any code and generation to have sustained the winning percentage they have for so long.

  • okadba on January 6, 2008, 17:32 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating. But if somebody says this was a fair, balanced game - I stop discussion - its not worth it. It was not fair for one team. Thats the problem.

  • RajChellappan on January 6, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    The suggestion is appropriate. Leave all decisions to umpires. Have 3rd umpire overrule wrong decisions that are conclusive by use of technology. If not conclusive with technology's help, give the benefit to the batsman. Atleast the % of wrong decisions can be brought down.

  • Arpan_Nigam on January 6, 2008, 17:19 GMT

    I have just one question for Mr. Williamson; just one:

    Does he think from the bottom of his heart that 3rd Umpire was not having enough replay evidences that the batsman was stumped?

    I will take your word Mr. Williamson. You may reply a YES OR NO.

    P.S.- There was no "human error" factor there I presume and there was no pressure of on-field appealing and all!

    Thanks Arpan - Software Consultant and a Aussie cricket fan for taking inspirations but not anymore.

  • Rams1977 on January 6, 2008, 17:10 GMT

    Martin Williamson,

    if your argument is right, then you have to ask Ponting to stop requesting other teams to walk. Second at least he has to follow his own logic that if he think he nicked then he has to walk.

    simply Ponting is pathetic to Australia. I like Steve Waugh compare to Steve, Ponting is nowhere.

    Thanks Rams.

  • VladDrac on January 6, 2008, 17:03 GMT

    Maybe some of the Indian team, management, press, and supporters should try drinking some agourida, although it appears they already have enough sour grapes...

  • MiddleStump on January 6, 2008, 17:02 GMT

    This is the sort of rationalization that breeds well paid cheats. There is no difference between claiming a catch not taken and not walking when you have edged. It is not just the umpire but also the millions of viewers that you are trying (failing) to deceive when you know you are out and dont walk. Ponting, Symonds, Hussey are all guilty without doubt. For all his failures, Yuvraj walked knowing that by doing so he was also walking out of the team for the next test. Cricket needs to learn from golf. Cheating by any other name is still cheating.

  • toots on January 6, 2008, 16:57 GMT

    It seems Mr Williamson that you have forgotten what sportsmanship is all about. What sportsman can have pride in himself if he knows he has been beaten on his merits yet will hang around to deceive? And Symonds proudly states that he was out but played on as if it was a badge of honour. With your logic match fixing must be OK as well??

  • TheProphet on January 6, 2008, 16:53 GMT

    Martin you make a fair point... And Indians are no walkers themselves... But the umpiring was extremely shoddy... And whats worse... Its not the first that Bucknor has done something like this for India... Right from the time he didn't refer to Johnty Rhodes runout to the thrird umpire in 92-93... To the countless number of times he has given Sachin out... I remember the 2005 home series against Pakistan... The game at Calcutta... Sachin was batting beautifully... He was then on 34 centuries... And the crowd wanted him to break Sunny Gavaskar's record... He reached around sixty batting like a dream... And then got Bucknored... And what does he do in this test? Symonds thrice out in the first innings (one screwed up by the third umpire, one not refered to the third and obviously the nick) and then gets the Dravid decision which actually killed India as Yuvraj and Ganguly followed straight after... Add to that the decisions that Benson got wrong and India has reason to be disheartened.

  • SBirch on January 6, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    A batsman should walk if he knows he is out; as long as he doesn't have to go when he knows he is not out.

    It's not that complicated.

  • dontknowdontcare on January 6, 2008, 16:44 GMT

    It didnt matter to the Indians if Murali Karthik walked or not during the 7th ODI in the recent ODI series between India and Australia. It was what they would like to say a gift from God. They didn't portray Murali Karthik as a cheater but as an Indian Hero. Then why does it matter if Symonds walked or not, and please dont give me that Symonds is a top order player and all that stuff because Murali Karthik's wicket would have resulted in Australia winning the match, so it doesn't really make a difference. For once India should start losing like winners because i dont really see them winning a test match against Australia.

  • Tambapani on January 6, 2008, 16:42 GMT

    Given the technology and the constant vigilance of the media, particularly the commentators, the umpires' job has become untenable. While Australia maintained the pressure, India crumbled at the end mainly due to a sense of perceived injustice of decisions that went against them in the course of the match. Cricket is a game of high pressure and the Aussies never take the foot off the peddle until the last ball is bowled hence their comparative success in these tight situations.

  • HSPatel on January 6, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    In cricket there should be a system to challange umpire descision using technology like NFL. All unclear and unsure descision should invlove more than one umpires.

  • Ashwin_S on January 6, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    With all due respect Mr.Williamson , the issue is not so much about not walking as it is about poor..no i'm sorry pathetic umpiring decisions which quite clearly tilted the game in favour of the Australian's . Sure not walking is not cheating and all that , but when it is so obviously nick as it was in the case of one Mr.Michael Clarke to stand for a decision i mean come on these guys are "sports"men surely he shouldnt have stood his ground then knowing fully well he was out and the deviation of the ball from its trajectory was so large , Kumble had to cajole Bucknor into giving that one.

    As for Ricky Ponting he didnt walk fair enough , but to then say we must believe him for what he says - ridiculous irrespective of the fact that he conceded to not taking Dravid on the full in the first innings - the appeal against Dhoni , good god - see the point ? When Kumble said - " Only one team played in the spirit of the game " , irrespective of your article above - he was spot on .

  • Spiritofcricket07 on January 6, 2008, 16:10 GMT

    This would probably go down as one of the worst sporting event I have ever seen. To see a team that cheats and lies win is simply unacceptable. Peter Roebuck has rightly said, "Once justice and fair play have been ejected there is no point in playing the game". It really makes me feel sick in my stomach to see how things unfolded. Claiming a catch, when you know you have grounded is the lowest point any professional player can hit and Clarke and ponting have done it. I am sure they will be remembered for this incident more than anything else in their careers. Australia may have won the game, but they lost the place as champions in the hearts of millions of people and will be remembered as cheats. No one would care how many games they win, if they can't win them fair.

  • Thirucumaran on January 6, 2008, 16:09 GMT

    You have a point, Mr. Williamson. The umpire is there to do a job, but, come on, umpires are human, and some of the really marginal decisions are hard to take. In those cases, the batsman could walk. But all this is just a hypothetical idea. Batsmen will never walk (with the exception of Adam Gilchrist). But a referral concept would really do a world of good when you have a bunch of cheaters like Ponting, so that you can clear up some doubts and show Ponting that he is a true liar. Umpires should also throw their ego away. If they are doubtful, they should refer it to the 3rd umpire.

  • billy76 on January 6, 2008, 16:08 GMT

    Good article, but Clarke claimed gangulys catch when it was a bump ball and was commented on several times including Gavaskar, Clarke had also claimed a bump ball in the recent ODI vs New Zealand.

  • vparisa on January 6, 2008, 16:08 GMT

    Mr Martin, you must be joking or you were our of your mind while writing this article. I agree that Batsmen need not walk, but when the batsmen clearly edges the ball to the slips, what in the world should he wait for??? Australia was playing without any spirit. They are world champions, they could beat India without bending these rules..

  • andy48uk on January 6, 2008, 15:57 GMT

    Definately cheating not to walk.I know the stars get paid to play and i don't but it's cheating whatever way you look at it

  • Supermancanfly on January 6, 2008, 15:56 GMT

    I sick of reading all this comments made about how the umpires decisions that cost the India a victroy. Stop it, the game is over. Well depend on who side you are support for, if you were Australian supporter then you will think this game is truely the best you will ever ecounter. If you were India then you will think we had been robbed by some of umpires decisions. Well, that is the way sometime cricket can be, just this time India just a bit too bad luck. Comments made toward Ricky Pointing catch of Dhoni was bit silly to metion. Firstly, let me make it clear Dhoni wasn't give out to catch appealed at all, so what is point of metion it. Secondly, the replay show the ball did hit him on the glove. And the replay also show when Pointing's try to catch the ball he landed with holding the ball hitting the grass. Well, the umpires make the right decisions give not out. So he was not OUT for that appeal. Well, India just bad luck got you lose this game. Eg last 3 wickets said it all.

  • NDM123 on January 6, 2008, 15:43 GMT

    "And yet what is it about cricket that it is the only major sport in the world where some people demand that players do the umpires' jobs for them? There is nothing in the Laws that requires a batsman to walk..."

    Isn't this what separates Cricket from other sports? Isn't the Spirit of the Game dear to you? Or do you want to be like football or baseball?

  • VladDrac on January 6, 2008, 15:40 GMT

    India did not lose this game due to bad umpiring. They lost the game due to not being as good as their opposition. Their fielding, their running between wickets, and their bowling was not as good as Australia. Both teams got rough decisions over the whole match. To simply point at a few decisions and say they decided the match is both naive and pointless. As for the main argument here, when you appeal for a wicket it is because you think it is out, not because you know it is. Anyone who has played the game at any level has appealed for things that they thought were out, but could not say they were 100% positive. That's why you ask "how's that?" to someone else to adjudicate. The last point is Kumble's statement of only one team playing in the spirit of the game. Would that be the team that has a player charged with racial abuse, used deliberate time wasting tactics in the field on the last day, and then a batsmen came out with two right handed gloves in a bid to waste further time?

  • Xyth on January 6, 2008, 15:38 GMT

    why is it cheating if the player doesnt walk !? if this is the case then the players should also be able to question the umpire's decision and NOT walk when given out. its just two sides of the story.

    it was a Gentleman's game in the old times. now its a competitive sport where the players make their livelihood and carreers. you cant ask them to take the fall.

  • AmitSharma on January 6, 2008, 15:35 GMT

    I haven't read much of the comments, but i can understand that we are reacting in the wrong direction over the issue of bad umpiring to 'Not walking' & 'Bad sportsmanship'.

    Come on we would never want India to win on the better sportsmanship of Aussies. It was the too much of wrong decisions on umpiring which made India look bad.

    Let the records say what ever, for me it was India - The winner of Sydney.

  • Dr.Anand on January 6, 2008, 15:31 GMT

    Nobody is disputing the fact that not walking is not cheating. what people are against is double standards. how can you take someone's word of having taken a clean catch when he waits for the umpire's decision having edged to first slip. worse, Mr. Benson asks and then believes the declaration of a clean catch by someone who edges down the leg side and who appeals for a catch after grounding the ball. And then tells people not to question his integrity. the aussies only know one thing - to win by hook or crook.it is high time the world takes notice of this and replies in kind.

  • SomeCents on January 6, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    Who are saying non-walkers are cheaters? But yet, you would think a player with any bit of integrity would walk on a thick edge reverberating around the world. And what about umpire intimidation? Pouting? Scowling? Sneering? (Uncanny that...Pouting..Ponting...hmmmm.)

  • Gwasela on January 6, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Call me old fashioned, but golf is a sport of unparalled integrity governed largely by the players' own honesty. Cricket needs good professional umpires to govern the rules, but if walking to nicks, fair catch, etc were all part and parcel of the players' collective ethos, then umpiring decisions would de facto improve.

  • pkill on January 6, 2008, 15:06 GMT

    no batsman should walk, it is the umpire's job to tell him whether or not to walk. it is a sign of arrogance and disrespect from the batsman to the umpire. the umpire's are there to do a job so let them. the colin cowdrey story is a great example of why batsmen should not be allowed to walk. umpires should give walkers out "retired out", instead of the dismissal they were deprived of adjuticating on. furthermore, sometimes the batsman mightn't be the best person to make a judgement in his own dismissal.

  • super-selector on January 6, 2008, 15:06 GMT

    I agree not walking is not cheating. But then what is appalling is that, a particular batsman doesnt walk when he knows for sure he has edged a catch, but when the same guy is fielding his opinion on if he took the catch cleanly is taken official ! So, which sweet angel enters the mind and soul of this mortal batsman of ours that you take his view while fielding.

  • Cricket_Fan_007 on January 6, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    Agreed. But lets not forget who tried to claim the moral high ground in the past on walking. It was Ponting who publicly derided the opposition for not walking citing Gilly as an example of someone who walks.

    We dont expect to walk nor expect players to be honest but then be consistent.

  • wakajawaka on January 6, 2008, 14:33 GMT

    I completely agree with Martin. I would not blame Symonds at all. Remember Murali Kartik being out during a thrilling win against Australia in India - and admitting that he had nicked it - and he did not walk. India won that game. It did not bother any Indian then. Just stop whining guys. What REALLY bothers me is that almost all these decisions (90% of them) seem to go against India. In England and in Australia. Though I beleieve that is just bad luck (and umpiring incompetence !!), I wonder at what stage does one start doubting the integrity of these umpires. Are Indian players softer targets for them?? Would there be a much larger issue if it was Australia/England on the receiving end?? Is that rascism?? I am not trying to rake up conspiracy theories - all I am trying to say is that if this trend continues it will not be long before these questions come out publicly. Clark and Gillie should be ashmamed to have claimed their prey. Guess that they ALL wanted the 16th. win REAL bad!

  • Hinthyan on January 6, 2008, 14:30 GMT

    Dear Martin, To walk or not too - Sportsmanship or cheating? To claim a catch that was not - Honest or gamesmanship?

    It is the fake moral posturing of Ponting and his men that is disgusting. Australians batsmen need not walk, for thay play the game the hard way. But if you are the opposition you are expected to or else they would give you an earfull.

    Claim a dubious catch and you are cheat, but not so if that happens to be Ponting or his men. Does Ponting thing that he holds the monopoly over INTEGRITY????

  • Parthas on January 6, 2008, 14:23 GMT

    I dont think the players should be blamed for the umpires mistakes. What if the batsman walks without waiting for the umpire's decision and then the replay shows the bowler over-stepping. The umpire is paid to do his job and let them earn their money. Im talking only about bat-pad and caught behind decisions here. In the case of clean catches, if the umpire is not sure, the fielder's word should be respected.

  • NEILSEQUEIRA on January 6, 2008, 14:22 GMT

    The best revenge ever is to embarass Bucknor if he ever comes to India by Giving him a garland of Footwear

  • Sudhir1 on January 6, 2008, 14:20 GMT

    Its not about walking mate. Its about being fair. Claiming a catch which is clearly a bump ball and appealing for a catch after the ball has been grounded. Clearly, clearly, if this isn't cheating, then what is mate?

    What does the law state about walking when someone gets bowled? Does he walk then?

    Australia - Hang your head in shame.

  • udaydarshan on January 6, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    Walking is not cheating but MR williamson but giving wrong decisions again and again is cheating Once if a umpire is wrong in giving decisisons he shud rectify his mistake and not repeat it.After seeing the whole match I feel tat Benson And Bucnor were match fixed by the aussies. Anil Kumble is the best sportsman, he played the game with sportsmansip. After all the mistakes made by the umpires he shook hands with the aussie and the umpires. Not like Ricky who didnt rectify his mistake.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on January 6, 2008, 14:18 GMT

    parabasis, so during the 70s its only the Asian countries that had home umpires who cheated? Maybe you really need to look at some videos of of games played in those days in other parts of the world like Australia. And what was seen today was hypocrisy from Australia. And it came from two of their greatest proponents of "fair play": Gilchrist and Ponting. One appeals for a pad catch which other than the batsman only he had the best view and another dives and lets the ball touch the ground and then claims the catch. Or maybe in reality it should called "convenient fair play" i.e. they'll be fair as long as its convenient for them.

  • KanchanaOZ on January 6, 2008, 14:14 GMT

    Cheating means?

    1. As a noun it means - "a deception for profit to yourself"

    2. As an adjective it means - "violating accepted standards or rules"

    Therefore if you look at it as a noun then ; "if you know that you are out and waiting for the umpire to give the decision" it is clearly cheating.

    At the same time if you look at it as an adjective: yes you know that you are out; however you are not violating any cricketing rules by the book. Therefore it is not cheating.

    I leave it for you to make a decision on which one you wants to use.

  • Justin on January 6, 2008, 14:05 GMT

    Not walking is not cheating? Even when you know you are out? But claiming a catch in the opposite circumstances is?

    Do you even see the problem with your own logic? (As in the ridiculous hypocritical nature of it.)

    What a joke.

  • ravi70 on January 6, 2008, 14:05 GMT

    Come on. Please dont support stupid sportsmanship. Ponting is a bad example for cricket. Not walking may not be cheating, but grassing the ball and claiming for a clean catch is blatant cheating. Appealing for caught behing when the wicketkeeper was clearing seeing dravids bat behind the pad is just outright cheating Mr. Martin.

  • Praveenrai on January 6, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    It is fair to agree that umpires are human and can make errors. One can even argue that on a bad day someone like Steve B. (his senses are sharp enough to be competent anymore?)could consistently get it wrong. But, the contention here is the one-sidedness of these errors. It looks as though, umpires are less likely to err when it comes to Australians. This is largely because of the way Aussies are known to attack anybody who comes in their way, and getaway with it. On the other hand, Indians can be easily asked to "shut up." Bucknoor is probably aware of this well and he would rather face Indians' disgruntled "whispers" than Aussies' acerbic ire. Rest of the world can match these Aussie mind games, to make them eat their own medicine, only when they too exhibit the profesionalism in the game they play so well to complement the talent they possess. Barring couple of good bowlers, India is as talented as Aussies and they just need to learn to fight back.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on January 6, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    So where does "walking" begin? Do you need to walk when you are bowled? Do you need to walk when you edge the ball to first slip?

    And the Sydney test has shown even claiming a false catch is being done "honestly". Gilchrist was sure the ball hit bat when he caught Dravid, Ponting was sure the ball did not touch the ground when he fell taking the bat-pad off Dhoni.

    The other issue is the quality of umpiring. Leaving it to the umpire is fine but when the umpiring is below minimum acceptable level, the game is turned into a lottery.

    Sports like Football and Tennis need decisions taken just as fast if not faster than in cricket and still we have far greater level of expertise in those games even when players blatantly cheat like we see with "diving" in Football. So why is cricket struggling to produce quality umpires or the ICC not able to take decisions in this regard?

  • Hesh on January 6, 2008, 13:58 GMT

    C'mon taking a grounded catch and appealing is only as much of a deceit as edging a ball and pretending as if nothing happened and the same goes for bat-pad catches as well. If your argument is that all the decisions have to be made by the umpires on the field then let him also decide if the catch was fair or not. I mean even if what you say makes sense (definitely not to me though), how will you implement it? Ban the player who appeals despite knowing that its not out (how does one judge if he actually knew whether its out or not out) and leave him scot free when he hits the cover off the all to the wikcetkeeper or the slips and stand his ground as if there was daylight between the bat and the ball. C'mon guys lets get it straight - if its fair then its fair for both batsmen and fielders and if its unfair,well the same applies!

  • shikh1000 on January 6, 2008, 13:58 GMT

    Dear writer,

    I can understand that walking is not cheating. But in that case u should accept both good and bad decisions from the umpire. Ricky Ponting gleefully accepted the decision when the he was given not out when he nicked the ball while on other hand was furious when he was given out off an edge. Isn't this double standards.

    Ricky Ponting did indeed said that he had not taken the catch correctly in the first innings but the catch was off Dravid who was not playing well and would have got out any momemnt. He would have never let Tendulkar or Laxman off like this. And once he has let Dravid off, he will sing song about this for the rest of his life. OK, one simple question, would you bet your life on Ponting telling the truth. You never will.

    xxx Shikhar Sinha (Netherlands)

  • 2overpar on January 6, 2008, 13:58 GMT

    The umpiring was worse than poor. Its one thing to get marginal decisions wrong but on several instances they got "sitters" incorrect. The charitable explanation is that the umpires were incompetent. They need to be dealt with as one would with any incompetent worker -- fired from their jobs. I understand a player's position that they will not walk and leave it to the umpire to decide. I also understand that they are free to appeal on anything even if they know that the batsman is not out, such as Ponting claiming a catch (Dhoni) that he knew he had grounded. What they can't do is simultaneously claim that they are players of high integrity, abiding by the spirit of the game. The charitable explanation is that such players play hard and gamemanship is one aspect of that attitude. There are other less charitable explantions. Either way, an umpire should not rely on such players to help them make a decision.

  • CommonSense on January 6, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    Martin, appealing for a bat-pad catch is not cheating either! It may have been nowhere near the edge but maybe it brushed the glove on the way through. The umpires are there to be asked the question, "Howzat?" There is nothing in the rule book to say that you should only ask the question when you are certain the batsman is out more likely than not. So, how could that be cheating (using your same logic!)?

  • vikoo on January 6, 2008, 13:56 GMT

    Totally agree. But the debate is not as much about walking as about double standards. Ponting in the post match interview on Star Cricket talks about a gentleman's agreement between the two teams that in all contentious catching decisions the fielding captains word will be taken. Yet the same Ponting not only stood his ground when he was caught behind but also claimed a catch which he had not completed properly. If a captain goes back on his pre match agreement then where are his ethics and his integrity. And if the captain does this scot free then what suit will the team follow?

  • shripadk on January 6, 2008, 13:56 GMT

    What kind of logic is this? When you say claiming catch which is not clean or bat-pad appeal is cheating and player is trying to deceive the umpire is cheating, isent not walking same? Its same as you are implying to umpire you have not nicked. Its nothing but bad sporting behavior and its not in spirit of game. decisions like LBW which are critical for human to judge should be completely left to umpires. but then why do cricketers show bat to the umpires? When they intend to send a message that they have nicked the ball to save their wicket, they should also walk when they nick the ball and umpire does not give them out. Or get the technology into the game, give 3rd umpire the right to overrule the decisions based on tv replay. Because unless that happens days like today are going to spoil the game. Its all total BS that its not needed. its more needed today than ever as people see and hear live what actually happens and batsman basically cheats and does not walk.

  • parabasis on January 6, 2008, 13:56 GMT

    A nice antidote to the partisan articles of Peter English and Anand Vasu. It seems to me the point of sports journalism is to excitingly and impartially report the facts, all the facts - even the difficult ones for a fifth/sixth of the world's population. I find it difficult to credit the high moral ground of the Indian apparatchiks who eagerly criticise Australia after the gerrymandering of ground conditions and umpiring decisions that have typified Asian cricket since the seventies. Is someone, or has someone, going to write a book about cricket and national pride/identity just so that we can separate the two and get on with the game? Also Harbhajan's 'monkey' insult is reprehensible, as was that of the Indian supporters last year. Anywhere else in the world it would be the subject of legal action supported by local anti-racism legislation. Will Cricinfo actually acknowledge this?

  • shyamd on January 6, 2008, 13:55 GMT

    I think the walking issue has been adiquetly delt with. The issue here is about claiming catches and about umpireing standards. I wish Martin had written about how we should deal with catching. Ricky Ponting can claim that umpires should take the fielder s word - but as today s example showed - on two occasions that sometimes they dont know themselves!

    Its easier to know whether u have edged it or not than whether you have caught it. Ponting had the audacity to claim a catch (off dhoni - given not out) and then mutter as if he had such bad luck! Replays showed he had infact grassed the chance. Then he went on to react about his integrity!?!

    The point is fielders just dont know sometimes. What are going to do about preventing this happening again? Use technology?

    To me its an Indian Victory. THey did everything to win it. Ponting - out in 17. Symonds - out in the 30s - and then out stumped (twice). Hussey lbw and caught behind. I dont care what Ponting and the history books say.

  • Ellis on January 6, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    If a batsman hits a straightforward catch to mid-off, should he a) Wait for an appeal? b) Pretend he never hit it? c) Walk? What is the convention in Cricket? What is the essential difference between the mid-off example, and, a catch to the keeper? Umpires are there to adjudicate on decisions that batsmen cannot themselves make, eg. LBWs, run outs, stumpings etc. Batsmen should walk when they know they have hit the ball and it has been caught fairly. What Hobbs said or did has no relevance today.

  • Azharuddin on January 6, 2008, 13:52 GMT

    Mr. Martin, it's not about players walking, its about UMPIRE walking out while making any correct decision. If the umpires are fair enough there's no need for the players to walk out. Nearly 10-11 decisions favouring one team can't be just an error. Had umpire heard the nick (when Symonds nicked to keeper), Aus would have been allout inside 250, and that would have changed the entire match. I hope ICC takes some stern decisions on umpires (favouring one side) as well, and if there's third Umpire he should be used (if he is also making wrong decisions, then GOD help cricket!). TV umpire is not there just to drink some cool drinks and watch the match from inside the box, he should be given some powers as well. If he sees that one batsman is given wrongly out (LBW only when there's bat involved), he should refer the field umpire and the batsman should be called back. There's nothing wrong in that, its a fair deal...

  • subby75 on January 6, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    There is a basic problem with quite a bit said in this article.

    a) Public does not expect the players to be their own hangmen. Public expects this when these players expect the people in the opposite team to walk, but not themselves. For example, Ricky pontings comments to Murali Karthik in the Mumbai One Dayer.

    b) More importantnly, the rage about the sydney test has not been about Symond's unwillingness to walk - no one expects him to- but the ability of the umpires to get the easiest of the decisions wrong.

    c) Umpires unwittingly asking the fielders and expecting them to tell truth, not withstanding Ponting's rage at an Indian journo for apparently "questioning his integrity". The difference between first and second innings truth that Ponting told is apparently similar to Bucknor quote in this same article. So by the definition of this article and what happened in this test, Ponting can be called a "Cheat" without attracting the racist complaints

  • Nitin_Kulkarni on January 6, 2008, 13:50 GMT

    Very interesting argument indeed! However there is one fatal flaw in your argument. I don't care what Jack Hobbs or WG Grace said or did - it does not make it right.

    Claiming a catch when you know the batsman didn't hit it is deceit, however standing your ground when you know you are out is not! Come on, you've got to be kidding! Just as there is no law that requires a batsman to walk when he is out, there is none that prevents a fielder from appealing when he knows that that the batsman is not out. Purely from the perspective of the laws of the game, these situations are the same - either they are both right, or they are both deceitful. Just because WGG or JH did it one way does not make it the right way.

    The other centrepiece of your argument - let the umpire do his job - works the same way. What is wrong with taking a chance with an appeal when you know the batsman is not out? Let the umpire do his job, and figure it out within the prevailing laws and playing conditions!!

  • LoveOfCricket on January 6, 2008, 13:49 GMT

    Yes not walking is not cheating.Completely agreed.But what happened at Sydney is absolute atrocious umpiring. Let aside pathetic umpiring by the on field umpires,how can one explain the stumping of Symonds given not out wrongly by the third umpire inspite of 'n' replays. Ponting congrats for your 16th consecutive win.But this one will be a one that will be remembered as a stain rather than a achievement.

  • vishal1 on January 6, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    Hi Martin,

    Hmmm...if the yardstick for cheating is "Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly", then certainly, the Australians are cheaters...specifically Michael Clarke.

    I remember Robin Uthappa trying to catch a ball in the recently concluded Pakistan - India series...he had control over the ball, till he rolled over (his momentum made him roll over)...and he lost the ball...he didn't even attempt to claim a catch...the commentator Arun Lal, felt that Robin had a legitimate case...

    It is hard enough to play a game of cricket against 11 players...but, it's awfully tough to play against 14 (11 players + 3 umpires)...especially, if those 14 include folks who have no integrity and are dishonest.

    Vishal

  • bobwd on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    I am curious to know if Symonds may be charged with dissent at the end of this match. Had a player who was incorrectly given out declared to the press that he was not out, he would probably be charged. Symonds did the opposite. He was given not out, but he declared to the press that he was out.

  • rupydhillon on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Yeah right- leave the desicions upto the umpires, and when umpires dont do their job properly and even third umpire doesn`t, who do you cry to?

  • DavidOH on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Dear Martin: not walking may, as you say, be "not cheating". However, just as with patently false appealing, it is a dishonest practice which diminishes the individuals engaging in it & can easily produce "wrong" results which influence the course of a match. Unfortunately, the way the Australian Team approaches Test cricket is NO example I want to set my children & their latest Test victory is deeply tainted. Bring in the Technology, apply the simple rule of "benefit of doubt to the batsman" & then we will get match results we can ALL be comfortable with.

  • jcau on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    This is a good argument for it not being 'unsportsmanlike' to not-walk. But I still admire those who walk, since one less wrong decision is always good. And if you have a walker on both teams, then it still evens itself out!

  • MickP on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    Surely if a player believes he has taken a clean catch or heard a genuine nick, he can be forgiven for going along with that belief. The idea that the moods, perceptions, inclinations or protestations of a player should somehow be an informal part of adjudicating the sport is insane. We jump so quickly to scream "CHEAT" but the reality is that there is so much room for them to be simply mistaken. The true error is using their input to determine if someone is in or out. It seems that the players are thoroughly modern and professional. The umpires are, despite current perceptions, thoroughly modern and professional. What is in no way modern and about as amateurish as is possible, is the technical support available to the on-field officials. Accusing players of cheating or umpires of participating in some sort of elaborate conspiracy is just a smoke screen hiding the clumsy rules-of-thumb required to adjudicate under current conditions.

  • AnuragV on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    I agree that not walking is not cheating. However, I don't think that that is the crux of the debate around the Sydney match. There is no debate in my mind as to whether players such as Symonds should have walked. There is only shock and disappointment that the umpiring and actions of certain Australians in claiming catches ensured that what was a sensational match will go down as one tainted. As a staunch Indian supporter I could only sit helpless as decision after decision was made unfairly against India. And I could only marvel at Ponting's assertion that his team plays in the spirit of the game when he himself claimed a catch off Dhoni which he clearly grounded. That it wasn't adjudged out is not the point. The debate of whether a player should walk is a ridiculous one; the debate as to whether there is any fairness and spirit left in the game is a far more enduring issue worthy of discussion. Regardless, history cannot be altered: India simply could not beat Aus and the umpires.

  • iclfan on January 6, 2008, 13:39 GMT

    Martin, me too agree with your point but not totally, did you see how Clark stood his ground when he clearly edged Kumble's deliver to Rahul at first Slip? My oh my I have never seen anything like this (or may be not in my memory)how amazing that was. Umpires didnt even remembered that incident and when same player said that he got the ball with bouncing on truff (Ganguly catch) they didnt even think of going to third umpire.

    Anyway, my concern is it is their right to stood there but not to a clear catch of bowled :)

  • JayK on January 6, 2008, 13:35 GMT

    Sorry, that is a very subjective statement.

    Not walking is also cheating, no doubt about that. You know u r out and should go, but u take the chance to stay.

    Only the "active involvement" of the player in the decision-making process is LESS (in the case of batsman not walking) as compared to the case where the fielder tries to deceive / cheat the umpire claiming a false catch.

    So, as many examples as u can bring up, a lot of them wont right a wrong.

    Cheers, Jay

  • Bisht on January 6, 2008, 13:32 GMT

    I think to make game more fair techology should be used, talk of humanisation bring unfairness to the game as it happened in 2nd test between India and Australia.

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  • Bisht on January 6, 2008, 13:32 GMT

    I think to make game more fair techology should be used, talk of humanisation bring unfairness to the game as it happened in 2nd test between India and Australia.

  • JayK on January 6, 2008, 13:35 GMT

    Sorry, that is a very subjective statement.

    Not walking is also cheating, no doubt about that. You know u r out and should go, but u take the chance to stay.

    Only the "active involvement" of the player in the decision-making process is LESS (in the case of batsman not walking) as compared to the case where the fielder tries to deceive / cheat the umpire claiming a false catch.

    So, as many examples as u can bring up, a lot of them wont right a wrong.

    Cheers, Jay

  • iclfan on January 6, 2008, 13:39 GMT

    Martin, me too agree with your point but not totally, did you see how Clark stood his ground when he clearly edged Kumble's deliver to Rahul at first Slip? My oh my I have never seen anything like this (or may be not in my memory)how amazing that was. Umpires didnt even remembered that incident and when same player said that he got the ball with bouncing on truff (Ganguly catch) they didnt even think of going to third umpire.

    Anyway, my concern is it is their right to stood there but not to a clear catch of bowled :)

  • AnuragV on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    I agree that not walking is not cheating. However, I don't think that that is the crux of the debate around the Sydney match. There is no debate in my mind as to whether players such as Symonds should have walked. There is only shock and disappointment that the umpiring and actions of certain Australians in claiming catches ensured that what was a sensational match will go down as one tainted. As a staunch Indian supporter I could only sit helpless as decision after decision was made unfairly against India. And I could only marvel at Ponting's assertion that his team plays in the spirit of the game when he himself claimed a catch off Dhoni which he clearly grounded. That it wasn't adjudged out is not the point. The debate of whether a player should walk is a ridiculous one; the debate as to whether there is any fairness and spirit left in the game is a far more enduring issue worthy of discussion. Regardless, history cannot be altered: India simply could not beat Aus and the umpires.

  • MickP on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    Surely if a player believes he has taken a clean catch or heard a genuine nick, he can be forgiven for going along with that belief. The idea that the moods, perceptions, inclinations or protestations of a player should somehow be an informal part of adjudicating the sport is insane. We jump so quickly to scream "CHEAT" but the reality is that there is so much room for them to be simply mistaken. The true error is using their input to determine if someone is in or out. It seems that the players are thoroughly modern and professional. The umpires are, despite current perceptions, thoroughly modern and professional. What is in no way modern and about as amateurish as is possible, is the technical support available to the on-field officials. Accusing players of cheating or umpires of participating in some sort of elaborate conspiracy is just a smoke screen hiding the clumsy rules-of-thumb required to adjudicate under current conditions.

  • jcau on January 6, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    This is a good argument for it not being 'unsportsmanlike' to not-walk. But I still admire those who walk, since one less wrong decision is always good. And if you have a walker on both teams, then it still evens itself out!

  • DavidOH on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Dear Martin: not walking may, as you say, be "not cheating". However, just as with patently false appealing, it is a dishonest practice which diminishes the individuals engaging in it & can easily produce "wrong" results which influence the course of a match. Unfortunately, the way the Australian Team approaches Test cricket is NO example I want to set my children & their latest Test victory is deeply tainted. Bring in the Technology, apply the simple rule of "benefit of doubt to the batsman" & then we will get match results we can ALL be comfortable with.

  • rupydhillon on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    Yeah right- leave the desicions upto the umpires, and when umpires dont do their job properly and even third umpire doesn`t, who do you cry to?

  • bobwd on January 6, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    I am curious to know if Symonds may be charged with dissent at the end of this match. Had a player who was incorrectly given out declared to the press that he was not out, he would probably be charged. Symonds did the opposite. He was given not out, but he declared to the press that he was out.

  • vishal1 on January 6, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    Hi Martin,

    Hmmm...if the yardstick for cheating is "Claiming a catch you know you have not caught cleanly", then certainly, the Australians are cheaters...specifically Michael Clarke.

    I remember Robin Uthappa trying to catch a ball in the recently concluded Pakistan - India series...he had control over the ball, till he rolled over (his momentum made him roll over)...and he lost the ball...he didn't even attempt to claim a catch...the commentator Arun Lal, felt that Robin had a legitimate case...

    It is hard enough to play a game of cricket against 11 players...but, it's awfully tough to play against 14 (11 players + 3 umpires)...especially, if those 14 include folks who have no integrity and are dishonest.

    Vishal