Rob Steen
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Sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

Tendulkar and the wisdom of walking

What sped through his mind in the seconds before he was given not out against West Indies? Did he decide to go out of pragmatism or nobility?

Rob Steen

March 24, 2011

Comments: 154 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar walks back after being caught behind, India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Chennai, March 20, 2011
Sachin Tendulkar: setting an example © AFP
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It is possible, just, that this World Cup will produce a more cherishable moment than Sachin Tendulkar's decision to walk against West Indies on Sunday. That said, short of Ricky Ponting offering to ghost-write Aleem Dar's autobiography in exchange for a signed copy of the MCC's Spirit of Cricket, it is fiendishly difficult to see how.

Let's be clear about this. Walking is cricket's trickiest ethical dilemma. Always has been, always will be. It marks the intersection of professionalism and honesty, where pragmatism collides with principle. That it should rear its two-faced head again at this tournament is assuredly no coincidence, but more of that later. By way of measuring the delicate nature of this part-time custom, let's rewind to Cape Town, 1965.

On the opening day of the third Test, Eddie Barlow, the bulldog atop South Africa's order, survives a vehement England appeal for a catch at short leg, stands his ground, with the tourists convinced that the umpire has erred, and marches on to a century. Still livid, the fielders refuse, pointedly, to applaud, then over-compensate, equally pointedly, when Barlow's partner, Tony Pithey, reaches 50. Mike Smith's side are castigated for making their dissent so plain; one writer claims they descended "to a deplorable level". Smith duly apologises to Barlow, but the furore is merely warming up.

When England bat, Ken Barrington, on 44, nudges to short leg, on the bounce. Spinning around, the team joker makes as if to walk off, then returns, grinning. The crowd gets the joke. Shortly afterwards, Barrington edges to the keeper, Denis Lindsay. At first it looks as if he is about to walk, but he stays put. Again, the umpire was John Warner. "I knew I was out," Barrington would recall, "but then I remembered all the chat in the papers about leaving decisions to the umpires."

Apparently every bit as confused as Barrington, Warner doesn't flinch. For a few interminable seconds, time and picture freeze, whereupon Barrington walks. "I felt I just couldn't stay there," he later explained. "It was a matter of principle and sportsmanship." Cue applause from fielders and spectators alike, and a fusillade of criticism from journalists - many of them English - who felt Barrington had tarried too long. Unusually, outrage was caused because Barrington did walk.

The Rand Daily Mail wondered whether it was "an ostentatious act which bordered on gamesmanship" and urged Barrington to apologise to Warner for subjecting him to "ridicule and contempt". To the Fleet Street Daily Mail, the action "smacked of 'we chaps know how to play the game even if you lot don't'." Barrington apologised. "I can blame my hesitation only on my own indecision," he would reflect. "I got terribly involved in the rights and wrongs of walking."

DON'T KID YOURSELF that walking is one of those noble practices that only died out with the advent of global professionalism. WG Grace famously stayed put even when his timbers had been shivered. Between the world wars, claimed Gubby Allen, "few batsmen ever walked unless given out".

That period may have accounted for 90% of Wally Hammond's career, but as England's first post-war captain he made Bill Edrich feel so queasy about not walking in an Ashes Test that Edrich promptly surrendered his wicket. Come the 1960s, according to Mike Brearley, non-walkers were considered cheats. In his disarmingly robust diary, Another Day, Another Match, the Gloucestershire seamer Brian Brain confirmed as much: "When I started in county cricket [in 1959], the ones who didn't walk could be counted on the fingers of one hand and they'd be given a huge rocket from their captains if they stood their ground when they knew they were out… [In 1980] I didn't see one batsman walk." All three, though, were referring to county cricket. In Australia it has never been the done thing, the honourable thing, nor even a credible act - hence the disbelief and dressing-room disgruntlement that greeted Adam Gilchrist's celebrated decision to off himself in the 2003 World Cup semi-final.

If Tendulkar did act out of fear for what this brave new world might do to his reputation, we should not think any the less of him. What we got was the right result, regardless of how it was arrived at. End fully justified means

Nor, for that matter, was walking admired unreservedly in the shires. After all, reasoned Sir Derek Birley in his seminal myth-frying book The Willow Wand, here was a decidedly dodgy, shamelessly class-based and erratically practised custom instigated by amateur captains, who "set their honour code above the authority of the humble umpires" (and Hammond, note, had to turn amateur to captain his country). Unconstrained by social hierarchies or convention, Australians felt no compunction to follow suit. "[It] can be assumed as more likely to take place when a batsman has just made a century than after he has made three successive ducks," theorised Birley with a certain slyness. "It has, in fact, a slightly unreal 'holier than thou' aura."

It was refreshing, therefore, to hear Nick Knight, the England opener-turned-affable Sky Sports pundit, admit on Sunday to having been "a convenient walker… a selective walker". He walked if average/form permitted. The late Sir Colin Cowdrey was another "selective" walker. While remembered by many, quite properly, with admiration and fondness, bowlers deplored his wayward ethical compass.

Knight's confession came in the wake of Tendulkar's unprompted exit, which went conspicuously un-analysed by the Sky experts (and many others besides). Maybe they were being diplomatic. To question any batsman's motives in such circumstances would fling open a can of worms; to question those of the only active sporting icon with an unstained reputation could lever the lid off a bucket of cobras. The question, nevertheless, is too pressing, too relevant to the game's future, not to be asked.

Let's unpack the loaded context. The din in the MA Chidambaram Stadium was shrill and deafening; umpire Steve Davis would have been hard-pushed to hear any edge, let alone an inside tickle. Nor, even after multiple TV replays, was it clear that Ravi Rampaul's inducker had kissed Tendulkar's bat. Small wonder the appeal triggered a stately shake of the head from Davis, who looks more like the Buddha's younger, fitter brother with each passing match, and seems to have inherited the family wisdom.

One assumes Tendulkar knew he'd nicked it, but when the appeal was rejected he didn't go all Hamlet on us like Barrington; he was decisive, off in a flash. Yet what, one couldn't help but wonder, had sped through his mind during the interregnum separating shot and Davis' slo-mo shake? Was he mulling Ricky Ponting's extraordinary look of innocence after being adjudged caught-behind against Pakistan 24 hours earlier, a decision that my children's cat's grandmother could have made? Did Tendulkar feel Ponting should have walked? Does he believe the game's elders should be setting an example? Why not?

But might he also have been pondering the Decision Review System? Tendulkar has often expressed reservations about this latest contentious innovation (a major factor in the BCCI's distaste towards it, presumably); and now, lo and behold, the damned thing was in a position to put his image on the line. David Gower summed up one of the less-heralded by-products of the DRS with typical succinctness and delicacy after Michael Clarke walked during last November's Brisbane Ashes Test: "There's less incentive to stay." And after Clarke declined to walk in Adelaide, putting struggling team before ego and/or gallantry, he was palpably embarrassed and quick to tweet a public apology. Without the DRS, would he have been so remorseful?

The next question, to some, is the most damning: did Tendulkar act out of pragmatism rather than nobility? Did he weigh up the options? He must have known, had he stood his ground, that a review, even as early as the first over, would have been eminently likely. And what might that have unearthed? That ball had eluded edge? With no HotSpot on tap, why not? Or would it have showed that he, Sachin Tendulkar, the most pandemically respected sportsman of them all, an untouchable idol to billions, had tried, like that rogue Ponting, to get away with it?

Umpire Marais Erasmus hands out a warning to Prosper Utseya after he bowled a beamer, New Zealand v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Motera, March 4, 2011
And what of the umpire when a batsman walks? © Getty Images

This is not meant to decry Tendulkar; anything but. Since when is being human a sin? Like Barrington and Gilchrist, he waited for the umpire's ruling. Perhaps he and Gilchrist (if not Barrington) did so not to buy themselves time but out of respect for the adjudicator's sensitivities. None of this, though, should undermine the underlying message: if the DRS can make umpires look fallible, even incompetent, it can also make players look foolish at best, at worst dishonest. And if Tendulkar did act out of fear for what this brave new world might do to his reputation, we should not think any the less of him. What we got was the right result, regardless of how it was arrived at. End fully justified means.

Soon after Ted Dexter was appointed chairman of the England selectors, in 1989, he claimed that the public, in addition to "heroic deeds", craved "chivalrous conduct". If this was a remarkable and fruitless thing to say then, such romanticism is even harder to come by now. All the same, is a PhD in naivety the only prerequisite for concluding that the DRS is awakening something much more desirable than chivalry - namely honesty?

Unfortunately there may be a sobering epilogue, and a deeply ironic one at that. Sunday's episode might persuade Tendulkar to harden his stance against the DRS, in which case, such is his sway, the game's strongest incentive for honesty could well die a premature death. Let's hope this was his Damascene moment.

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

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Posted by   on (March 27, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

@KHooper1 : He did walk against AUS as well. He was called back by the umpire for the review. And how can you say nothing was at stake in that match?? It was just the 1st over and had India lost that match Ind would've faced SL in Q/F a much better side than AUS.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

superb icon of sport world !!

Posted by Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on (March 26, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

I think Sachin walked because of DRS. Just in last IPL, he didn't walk after snicking one behind to Dhoni. Nothing wrong in not walking. Sachin and Dravid will be remembered as Gentlemen for things more than just walking I guess.

Posted by melvn on (March 26, 2011, 5:54 GMT)

It wasnt the first time sachin walked.I can point out so many games. In the 1998 Sharjah cup against Australia (Sandstorm match) sachin made 143,he walked despite of the umpire being quiet.The videos are available in Youtube with millions of views. So it is very clear that pragmatism isnt the real reason but professional integrity.He is a moral man,cricket desperately needs more men like him to make it the GENTLE MAN'S GAME

Posted by aurovasudev on (March 26, 2011, 5:30 GMT)

I was told this story -true or false - in my adolescent years, of the great master W.G.Grace, who admonished the umpire for adjudging him lbw at the first ball he faced, telling. "you idiot, these people have come here to see my batting nor your umpiring!", and then the 'bold and chivalrous' umpire canceeed his ruling!

Posted by TheFridge31 on (March 26, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

If that was the World cup final would he of walked ? Got to remember it was a dead rubber.

Posted by pappadu on (March 26, 2011, 2:45 GMT)

All these writers know that if they write something questionable about Tendulkar they will be noticed. As simple as that. Like another comment mentioned, replays are there for years of course!

Posted by raghu2 on (March 26, 2011, 2:00 GMT)

There were only a couple of walkers in the present era. Lara and Gilchrist, without any hesitation. Sachin was not, as I'd seen him not walking on a couple of occasions (and not given out) in the past. If he's decided to do so now is commendable.

Posted by jayrkay on (March 26, 2011, 0:23 GMT)

As simple as truth, that is the man he is, my hats off, to Sachin. I thought he had nicked it while I watched it in disbelief.We need a few more good people with honesty

Posted by silverline102 on (March 26, 2011, 0:08 GMT)

A noble act from the master batsman. Lets not forget the other master who has always been a walker, BRIAN CHARLES LARA. let me remind the indian fans of the time he walked with his score in the 90's in a test match without much of an appeal.

Posted by Solar_Rex on (March 25, 2011, 23:28 GMT)

Sachin, You make me proud of being a fellow country man. Let the pundits and popes pompously pontificate on the ponins of contention.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 23:06 GMT)

Good article but I read nothing about one Brian Charles Lara.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 22:25 GMT)

Sachin knew if he stayed Australia would refer and he would be given out Ponting waited that is what he usually does Jayawardene waited as he was not sure All three did the right thing. They are great cricketers who have done a lot to cricket and their countries.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (March 25, 2011, 21:55 GMT)

I like to believe that a few men of integrity still remain in the modern era. Integrity like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet i can feel integrity when i experience it.

Posted by iamvinner on (March 25, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

assume that sachin did walk out of fear of being caught out by DRS. ponting too had precisely the same knowledge. ponting did not walk. sachin walked.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (March 25, 2011, 20:54 GMT)

I have to be honest I didn't see the situation like you did Rob, it sounds slightly cynical and I would prefer to live in my perhaps naive world where I can believe in outstanding gentlemen of the game with boatloads of honour and ethics such as Sachin, Kallis and Gilchrist who would prefer to play the game honestly than win at all costs. There is nothing more irritating personally than seeing a batsman stand his ground after nicking it, I dont hold it against players like Clarke and Ponting who dont walk because they are in the heat of the moment and want to win, but it can be embarrassing to see one of your countrymen not walk. Luckily I never have to make that decision when I play as I cant get my bat close enough to the ball to nick it, but I'd like to think I would walk in that situation.

Posted by Krickna on (March 25, 2011, 20:49 GMT)

The man exudes class, both with the bat, and his character. Hopefully many more years of Sachin to come.

Posted by amarrahey on (March 25, 2011, 19:32 GMT)

Great article Rob! Especially loved, "he didn't go all Hamlet on us, Was he mulling Ricky Ponting's extraordinary look of innocence after being adjudged caught-behind, my children's cat's grandmother could have made?" Rewind to 1965 was a beautiful insight to this generation cricket buffs as well. However, I have one gripe though, irrespective of the fact that you stated "This is not meant to decry Tendulkar; anything but" this article still somehow felt like it questioned the great Tendulkar's noble decision to walk. For that matter anyone that ever walked, including Clarke's one time. You walk and you walk, that's it.

With all due respect, let me take a little latitude and say this - Let's hope this could be "your" Damascene moment and you realise that the great Tendulkar has always been noble and honest.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:02 GMT)

He even walked against the Aussies.. Till the umpire asked him to wait for a review..

Posted by RahulSachinVVSViru on (March 25, 2011, 18:29 GMT)

With the UDRS the landscape of this walking debate has changed. Batsmen who previously wouldn't have walked will begin to walk. Personally I dont think they should walk. They should make every last ditch effort to keep their wicket- thats what batsmanship is about. I dont think it really affects the reputation of the batsman either. Its well within the spirit of the game to ask the team to review a decision if they feel strongly enough about it. Let them use the review system. thats what its for after all. if batsmen begin to walk as a side effect of the UDRS, people will stop crediting the UDRS and start crediting the batsman. I dont know if tendulkar would have walked before UDRS days but he should have stayed and told them to review it if they needed to. I'm not sure if he really deserves credit for walking. In all probability he would have been given, but he would have conveyed this message to his team mates 'Don't walk because you might get lucky'. Luck is a part of the game.

Posted by ssenthil on (March 25, 2011, 18:21 GMT)

You have got everything right except the Soul, SRT against only DRS without Hotspot, He want the technolgy used to be 100% right since we all know what happened when India First faced DRS, Dilshan got away after edging, Sehwag wrongly adjudged LBW and Samaraveera escaped a PLUMB LBW. All the wrong was against India though it given few right decision but those were not error, it's blunder, It should be Avoided is what SRT Stands

Posted by InnocentGuy on (March 25, 2011, 18:21 GMT)

You Englishmen write so well.

Posted by aalkool on (March 25, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

Let us think of the days before the DRS. If SRT had nicked and not walked, subsequent replays would have shown him to be out. It is the replays that will have a bearing on a players image, not the DRS. The DRS is merely a tool for the players on the field to challenge the umpires decision.

Posted by KHooper1 on (March 25, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

Easy to walk when there is nothing at stake. He didn't walk in the knock out quarter against Australia.

Posted by kamran.afzal on (March 25, 2011, 15:45 GMT)

Great article Rob... and great analysis... though I don't entirely agree... I think what Barrington did was great... umpires have always had it their way... nothing wring with letting them know they weren't above the game...

I think Knight's "selective walking" is perfectly alright; Tendulkar's and Gilchrist's "perennial walking" respectable; and Ponting's "not walking" perfectly understandable...

Regardless of DRS, not-walking doesn't make any batsman any less of a sportsman... If a batsman cannot stay on the field when he KNOWS he's not-out (and umpire doesn't), there's no reason he should be expected to leave when he knows he is...

Posted by naudurivsm on (March 25, 2011, 15:07 GMT)

Good Article. fair and balance I should say, but why read into Sachin's mind. He walked because he knew he was out. PERIOD. rest of things go to hell. If UDRS is wrong or incompetent so be it. ICC has to sort it out. If the umpires are becoming more lethargic and UDRS dependent ( they do not want to use their judgement because of UDRS) then so be it and again ICC to look into this. But with all this in there is no price of Honesty and that need not be judged. everyone has right to their opinion, and that is what Sachin did. So take it or leave it is your call. there is no need to read somebody's mind, at least in this case.

Posted by kasyapm on (March 25, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

Good article and I do agree with you...with the DRS in place, there is no point in waiting for caught behinds unless the batsman himself isn't sure (which most probably won't be the case). So, deciding to go was way better than staying there and looking extremely foolish (like ponting did the other day). That said, Sachin usually walks. So, the DRS thing might not have impacted his decision.

Posted by mukunthgk22 on (March 25, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

Dissent - If you disobey the Umpire for your (team's) good. Sportsmanship - If you disobey the Umpire for the Opponent team's good. I'd not find fault with Ricky. There are times when you are given out when you are actually not. So, waiting for the Umpire is not bad, because thats what they are there for!

Posted by Punters_Mate on (March 25, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

Anyone who plays cricket knows the occasional walker like ST is a blight on the game. They put doubt in the umpires mind whereas the consistent walker or non walker gives the umpire certainty. DRS will weed out those who only walk when it suits.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

Rob, maybe what tendulkar was trying to illustrate here was.. why DRS isnt needed for such decisions... If everyone plays honestly.. u dont need reversals and challenges.

Posted by shakersid on (March 25, 2011, 12:15 GMT)

Would he have done the same in the semi final when Pakistan have no more UDRS decisions left and India need 40 to win from 30 balls?

It was a little convinient to do it when the WI had both reviews left and it was not a do or die match.

Just an honest question, I am not implying that Sachin walked of because WI had both their reviews left, and would not do the same if such a scenario occurs in the semi final when reviews are left.

Posted by Aussasinator on (March 25, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

This is a brilliantly written piece. Loved it. Great going Rob Steen!

Posted by Adhithyadaleo on (March 25, 2011, 10:45 GMT)

Great writing, enjoyed every line of ur article..

Posted by Crucio on (March 25, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

What may have gone through Sachin's mind is not known, but Jacques Kallis's decision to walk was a symbol of true nobility. He asked Matt Prior if he had caught him, and trusted his word. True sportman spirit. Excellent article, an enjoyable read. Thank you!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 8:17 GMT)

Regardless of whether DRS is there or not, Regardless of whether you walked or not, TV replays will reveal if there was nick or not. Had Sachin not walk, regardless of DRS, every one would assume that he did not realize that he nicked the ball - such is the aura around him.... and the aura was not developed just yesterday - it is a result of being in the game for so many years, yet untouched by controversy. What he did yesterday, was congruent with everything he has done in the past. No one, not even DRS, can take that away from him.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

Fantastic writing - regardless of whether or not I agree with the view, I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 6:42 GMT)

Sachin is perhaps most analyzed player in the world. Give him a break man!

Posted by crocker on (March 25, 2011, 6:21 GMT)

Dis-obeying an umpire in cricket is against the rules of the game. "Walking" is tantamount to breaking rules of cricket and the batsman should be banned for atleast one match. "Walking" only indicates the unwillingness of the batsman to face the current match situation at the cost of one wicket to his team and detrimental to team interest. Let umpires do their job and let the batsman throw his wicket next ball, if necessary, to umpire's satisfaction.

Posted by vgbored on (March 25, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

I don't agree with the twisted logic of this article. The conclusion drawn by the author is that Sachin walked because he feared the DRS. Without hotspot, Sachin had nothing to fear. Yet he walked. To assume that he feared embarrassment and walked and would then go on to use this experience to block the use of DRS is simply taking a flimsy and baseless argument too far. India's match against England has demonstrated why India opposes the DRS. Ponting's example is clear: fear of being found out is never the reason for not walking. And no amount of technology can ever change that.

Posted by sonofchennai on (March 25, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

Lets not belittle Sachin's walking by presuming that he weighed his options and thought he wud be ruled out by DRS..he has walked many a times even b4 the DRS was present...

Posted by IlMagnifico on (March 25, 2011, 4:29 GMT)

After laboring through 60% of the article that extolls the virtues (and lack thereof) of players from a quarter century and more ago, I hoped there would finally be some substance forthcoming. All I got was chaff. This article has been summed up in the headline. All there was to be said by the author about the topic at hand ended there. He should have quit while he was ahead. There really was no need to slog through memories of a bygone era. Not in this context, for sure. Sometimes, a tweet is all it takes to let the world know what one thinks about a particular topic.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Excellent analysis of the situation. With argumentation on such lines, and using such rationale, a lot of unwritten laws can be established. And we can uphold the spirit of the game...

Posted by ChetanKrish on (March 25, 2011, 3:25 GMT)

Nice read and agree with the point that captains should not be imposing their own morals on the team. However, I disagree with the arguement at the end that Sachin walked thinking that he might be caught in the DRS review. I have been watching Sachin play since my childhood and he has always been a walker, long before the authorities even thought about a review system.

Posted by harshthakor on (March 25, 2011, 3:25 GMT)

Salutes to Sachin Tendulkar for sportsmanship whose deed will be etched in the memories of cricket lovers for ever.The youngsters can emulate such acts of sportsmanship displayed by Sachin or Adam Gilchrist in the last World Cup.Such acts revive the spirit of the glorious game of cricket which has virtually been reduced to crass commercialism.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 3:06 GMT)

"Since when is being human a sin?" Ever since the creation of Man.. :-)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 3:03 GMT)

What an article! Awesome flow with facts. Sachin is towards the end of his character. Like old grandfather teaches whole family, shows light of wisdom during dark times, Sachin is guiding world cricket out of misery. World cricket is going through tough times now where lack of talent, skill of players and umpires alike lowering the standards of the game. Instead of uplifting the standards of players/umpires/staffs, ICC is band-aidiing with technology. Sachin understands that - he is revolting the system and showing the world that game of cricket should be played with skill and passion and thorough professionalism.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 2:40 GMT)

A man of more than a billion die-hard fans and yet not a single controversy. There could even be a time when someone in the future emulates Sachin the batsman but never Sachin the MAN.......A true gem , keeping things simple following his big man's principles and standing above all.........he is the TRUE LEGEND........Go Sachin go!!!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 2:36 GMT)

What a scholarly piece of work. Fabulous read, thanks Rob for the article ! It definitely is the biggest ethical dilemma in Cricket, and Rob manages to bring out all the issues and sensibilities involved. I like the DRS interpretation - that it miay be forcing players to become more honest :-) And small inconsistencies in DRS's decision making process should not lead us to abandon something that is so clearly helpful and the right way forward.

The biggest irony of all - in what was considered the getlemen's game, it takes a DRS for players to do what is right :-)

Posted by kkcow on (March 25, 2011, 2:27 GMT)

Actually there's nothing much to it. the media just love a hoopla. sachin's not a walker never has been. he was found out in sri lanka during india series loss there 3 or 4 years back when the review system was introduced.he top-edged a sweep to short leg and the umpire gave him not out. the review system found him out. he absolutely smashed it but he stood his ground.which is why he s against the review system because no umpire in his right mind (unless he's australian ) would want want to get it wrong with him nowadays. not a knock on him, thats the way most batsmen are. still a great batsman, just not a great team player. dravid, laxman, sehwag, yuvraj(in odi's) and zaheer are way more important to india than he is.

Posted by Indrajeetjadeja on (March 25, 2011, 2:22 GMT)

if we look back on sachin's career, he has always walked irrespective of the umpire's decision whenever he has known that he has nicked it .. i dnt think udrs has anytin to do with it .. its the basic diff (apart from a few thousand runs and 30 odd hundreds) between him and pointing. Pragmatism gets you statistics, ethics gets you respect :) .. great article though.

Posted by Saranbot on (March 25, 2011, 2:20 GMT)

Thanks Sachin, for being such an example for upcoming cricketers. Sachin cannot cheat!!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 2:19 GMT)

The writer has conveniently forgotten the last league match of Sharjah Cup in April 1998, when Sachin walked after trying to hook a Damien Fleming bouncer, after scoring a century and carrying India thru to finals single handedly. The Umpire was non other than Steve Bucknor. Sachin returned the very next day with another century and the Sharjah Cup beating the Australians on his 25th birthday.

He walked when there was no DRS and when umpires were stubborn to refer catches to 3rd umpire. He has always been a man of integrity.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 2:11 GMT)

A noble piece that weaves through time and pitches just on the good length spot. Crafted writing that. An op-ed piece so rare these days that goes beyond the ball-by-ball. Thank you.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 1:25 GMT)

As far as I remember Tendulkar has always walked. He has also walked, without any dissent at all, when umpires have given him out on very dodgy decisions (a couple of shocking lbw decisions in Australia that I remember). To assign motivations on this one (when he didn't even seem to look at the umpire) is wrong. He is an ornament to the game.

Posted by thenoostar on (March 25, 2011, 1:16 GMT)

Now that we can see if a player is out or if a player has made a catch, the batsman should walk. In International matches, if the player does not walk, the player should miss the remainder of the series and be fined. On 99% of occasions, a batsmen knows they have hit the ball. If it is concluded that the batsman would have known they hit the ball.....punish em. That will get people walking.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

It took you 5 days to weigh in all the options, and collect all the anecdotes that might have flied in few seconds across Sachin! I guess my comment sums it all... Also, he has already clarified that he took an instantaneous firm decision. You also mentioned that he stood for umpire's decision out of courtesy, but if you closely watch, he moved well before Umpire could decide that he is out!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 23:28 GMT)

You don't need to be so apologetic while raising the possibility that Tendulkar might have walked 'because of the UDRS', Rob. (We love him as much as we do for completely unrelated reasons that, frankly speaking, a non-Indian would be hard-pressed to understand.) It may not have been something he weighed up and decided in the split-second when Rampaul went up in appeal; it may well have been that on the day when he came to know the UDRS would be used for the tournament, he thought about it and said to himself, "Right, from now on, I have to walk." But whaever the case, there is no doubt that the UDRS has brought about a change in Tendulkar's stance on walking, because until very recently, he has been a non-walker.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

Really good assessment of the Tendulkar situation. Brave analysis. Not too sure if Indian supporters will be able to understand your apparent blasphemy against their god, but very good insights and should generate some interesting discussion for my sport show on radio tomorrow.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 22:50 GMT)

Your article certainly provoked some thoughts which actually concern me! Your comments - "It marks the intersection of professionalism and honesty, where pragmatism collides with principle." - is what really concerns me. I am beginning to wonder if honest or principled professionals is now becoming an oxymoron.

I see it in all kinds of sports, professional sports people trying to get an edge over their opponents. Soccer/football is a classic example where players will discretely use the arm/hand to help them score a goal. Most get away with it because it's hard for the ref to spot it.

Why can't professionals be honest and principled? Surely this would actually be for the betterment of the game. The attitude certainly seems to be: "If no one spots it then it's okay", whether it's the ump or ref and regardless of the game being played.! I thought true professionalism meant our players were being honest and principled. Maybe the definition of professional has changed?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 22:38 GMT)

Interesting article. Sure to cause some strong reaction.

Posted by vivekshanghvi on (March 24, 2011, 22:25 GMT)

I think for Ponting it is more like MY WAY OR HIGHWAY. According to him, after the Pak game he said he would wait for the umpire but during 2007-08 Ind Aus series game 7 when Murli Kartik claimed he had nicked he says he should have walked. Why the double standards? Also during the QF against Ind he said he was not sure about the catch. He was so sure about Micheal Clarke's catch at Sydney and now he is not sure. Ball lands about 3 inches in front of him. Played the safe game because he knew Ind would call for the UDRS. I think he is one non-sportsman this game should do without. Though I respect him for his achievements.

Posted by fadjaz on (March 24, 2011, 22:17 GMT)

i don't think tendulkar plays the game for the numbers anymore.....he plays it for the love of it...for the challenge of it. He didnt do it for his respect, i can say that with out any doubt. And if anyone does indeed beat him(its hard as hell to do it, takes nothing less than an absolute beauty), he would walk regardless of what score he's on. Thats the way the game is meant to be played atleast at this level. If i ever make the effort to play at that level, i would never do it for the numbers but just to be challenged by the best. Salute to a true champion, who ever thinks he aint a match winner is absolutely ignorant.(P.S. i am a pakistan supporter, so lets not make this a pak-ind issue down in the comment section again....give credit where its due)

Posted by Ankush_India on (March 24, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

This is not the first time time Sachin has walked out .. There was not DRS system in place when he walked out the last time ..

Sachin was honest .. If anybody notices clearly, after the ball faintly kissed the inside of his bat, he looked at the wicket keeper, the ball was cleanly caught .. and there he put the bat under his arm, w'out even giving a look at what would be Mr. Davis's call about it ..

Thats Sachin, a guy whose credibility/nobility is not because over a million fans love him, its because of his nobility, he is the God of cricket among one sixth population of the world !!!

I can remember one more honest batsman like him, coincidentially from the same City i.e. Sunny Gavasker .. always walked out if he knew he was out

Posted by McGorium on (March 24, 2011, 21:32 GMT)

I'm not so sure about the hypothesis about UDRS being his motivation to walk: after all, TV replays have been around for ages. If he refused to walk (which he has historically done, but but more on that later), his "image" would take a beating among the public and the umpires (who would see it on the screen, and/or later on). The fact of the matter is that we are rushing to conclusions: we have one or two sample points. It could well be that Tendulkar is a selective walker, because I can recall multiple instances when he has nicked the ball but not walked. Or maybe he's had a change of heart on his policy thus far on refusing to walk. Either way, let's see. Would he walk in a final, as opposed to an inconsequential game like vs. WI? After all, one's integrity is best tested when one has everything to lose by doing the right thing. Would he walk if India were chasing 300 in a final, if he nicked the ball in the first over? Given his history of refusing to walk, I'd still say he wouldn't

Posted by AnkTheHunk on (March 24, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

Not sure if this article implifies the greatness of Sachin, but I'd like to know the number of occasions where he's out & walked, where he's out & not walked vs the number of times not out & given out...that would be some awesome stats to see!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

Much ado about nothing! It is unbelievable that the author believes Tendulkar made so many calculations in a split second amongst all the chaos and adrenaline rush...Rewind back 13 years, 1998 Sharjah. Sachin walked against Australia, knowing fully well that the tournament is at stake..Does the man need to give more proof? He is against DRS not because it will show he is out, (he wouldn't walk if this logic is true). He is against it because for the first time we are seeing umpires being ridiculed by players and a lot of other reasons. PLEASE SPEND SOME TIME READING ABOUT SACHIN, before writing such dumb articles which have no HEAD or TAIL!

Posted by jibzz_100 on (March 24, 2011, 20:54 GMT)

bravo Tendulkar......great to see humans and batsmen like that.....

Posted by williamgrey on (March 24, 2011, 20:46 GMT)

Rob, your article on cricket photography was EPIC. "In today's cricket photography there's too much reaction and too little action". Genius! Probably the single most defining thought on cricket outside the stadium.

More such insights please. But this article was a case of great topic. average thoughts. In the spirit of Brydon's article on Ponting please let Cricket photography be your template for future articles.

Posted by The_Invincibels on (March 24, 2011, 20:41 GMT)

my only answer would be - to your statement - that since when did tendulkar becamae human :)... he was always above the humans..he's been the god of cricket..and everything he does, only solidifies the statement....

Posted by krisrai on (March 24, 2011, 20:41 GMT)

How can you write an article about "walking" and not mention the greatest sportsman of them all, G.R. Vishwanath?

Posted by Siddharth.m on (March 24, 2011, 20:25 GMT)

Mr. Steen, Well I dunno abt the Aussies.... But I know Sachin had this habit of walking long before RDS came into picture, even against the Aussies, when he was hammering them in unarguably one of the best innings in the history of ODI's in Sharjah where he scored 141, there was an appeal of caught behind, At that point in time bouncers above shoulder height were not allowed, this rule of one for the over came long after this match. Still a bouncer was bowled, which took sachin's glove, and the umpire didn't give him out, he looked at the leg umpire who did not give it a no ball and he walked, if he hadn't the match's result surely would have been different. This is just one of the incidents, there are many more like these, he, has walked more than the entire brigade of Aussie batsmen put together in all forms of cricket have. So please don't compare him to anyone else. And ya DRS just came into picture, He has played the game for 20 years, so please bring a better story. Keep Walkin.

Posted by doesitmatter on (March 24, 2011, 19:54 GMT)

awesome writing..thoroughly enjoyed it..

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

thats called passion towards game......

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

Couple of missed points

1. Tendulkar/Gilchrist might have waited to confirm if the ball was not a "no ball".

2. Sachin walked back @ Sharjah some 14 years ago, when he nicked a head high ball that was not called "no ball" by umpire. Technology was not so good at that and it was very difficult to find out if he nicked the ball. But, he walked.

Gillie and Tendulkar are two of the most honest players ever to play cricket.

Posted by ADXI on (March 24, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

I dont know if all that calculations and permutations & combinations cud hav run thru his brain in that instant.....may be or may be not.....i wud go with no...i think it was an honest instantaneous decision to walk. Though must appreciate rob for some serious evaluation of thought!

Posted by cric-kaka on (March 24, 2011, 19:27 GMT)

DRS is great and helps everyone. Let's asume that people make mistakes unknowingly and move on.

Posted by mayank.101 on (March 24, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

It is not altogether impossible that players find taking responsibility and being under pressure all the time difficult - especially with the glut of games. I only conjecture: In a relatively inconsequential match, Tendulkar might just have been displaying what a sagely old man of 37 must sometimes feel: fatigue.

Posted by abdubaba on (March 24, 2011, 19:16 GMT)

wow, this was a good essay on ethics, philosophy and morality in cricket. i like!

Posted by Anand.R on (March 24, 2011, 19:10 GMT)

I dont understand why this question has even been generated. Sachin is the noblest of the cricketers and such an honest act should not be doubted. This is shameful!

Posted by kevihs on (March 24, 2011, 19:02 GMT)

I hold back all the snide remarks and naked expletives threatening to burst forth, only so that this comment might get published. Think back to a certain match, his innings in which is now referred to as Operation Desert Storm. I wonder if they had DRS in that match as well!!! I appreciate the point Rob Steen is trying to make...that there's "less incentive" for batsmen to stay.But with the crux of the entire article mainly playing around one incident, wouldnt the most sensible thing have been to check if Sachins' ever walked before.

Posted by Roger_Allott on (March 24, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

I recall an incident in a test match against England when Gilchrist walked after he thought he'd nicked one that was caught by second slip. Replays showed though that he had missed it be a few inches. His bat had hit the ground at the exact moment that the ball passed it and pitched on a footmark, which accounted for the quite extraordinary deviation.

Posted by humbaikar on (March 24, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

What an excellent article! Brilliant !

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 18:33 GMT)

sachin din't look at the umpire and so he walked. otherwise he would have respected the umpires decision. he has stood ground so many times when umpires have given out. please don't think too much into this!!

Posted by Divinetouch on (March 24, 2011, 18:33 GMT)

Thank u Sachin. Keep on being a credit to human beings.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (March 24, 2011, 18:30 GMT)

I think a player like Sachin can occasionally walk away if he feels that he played a horrendous shot or if the ball he got was too good to go unrewarded. It is not at all a rule to be followed and in fact, by not walking, he would at leasthave wasted the WI a review! Too much should not be read into it but for a while, his action was certainly laudable.

Posted by 99point94 on (March 24, 2011, 18:08 GMT)

well written. specially the capetown 1965 story. but did you forget the fact that tendulkar has done same thing in an era when there was no DRS, no snickometer and no hot-spot? he might not be as honest as it seems, but he knows what people expect of him (read a fair game) and he also knows how to deliver it.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 15:58 GMT)

"Since when is being human a sin?" Well, since the doctrine of original sin was put out there, I would speculate.

Posted by mitchmcg12 on (March 24, 2011, 15:51 GMT)

Excellent, well-reasoned article. The question, in my mind, is whether cricket is a self-officiating game. Are the umpires there to make all of the decisions (as in football, hockey, basketball and many other team sports) or are they there solely as arbitraters to make decisions when the players are unable to do it for themselves? There have been at least a couple of incidents in the CWC where a batsman has asked a fielder if he took the catch and, when given the affirmative, walked, trusting that the fielder was honest. Shouldn't the fielders be able to turn around and ask the batsman if he hit it, with the same expectation of honesty? Cricket has always seemed to want to show itself as a bastion of fair play, honesty and, yes, chivalry. Would we love it so much if it wasn't?

Posted by randika_ayya on (March 24, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

No amount of walking by Tendulkar can compensate for the countless times he has been offered the 'benefit of the doubt' in LBW decisions. This is the very reason that India vehemently reject DRS while the rest of the world embrace the technology! Take nothing away from the man though, he's a living legend!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

Tendulkar being a Tendulkar would be worried about how he edged the ball and he could have played differently rather than walk or not walk. He felt he was out and walked off. Period..Sachin's greatness is in his being a humble and dedicated cricketer and yet achieve the kind of success he has achieved!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

Walking or not walking is not a question of morality for there is no sin in having hit a ball. Personally, I walk. And while I don't like non-walkers, they do not warrant any effort in added scrutiny or technical advances. But, as an umpire, I leave most of the decisions on edges in the hands of those I trust to do the right thing.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

No article on "walking" can sensibly omit a reference to Hashim Amla. He walks without hesitation , qualms , regret or expediency. His sets the standard for integrity and "the spirit" of the game . He is a role model in this regard yet was not mentioned at all in the article. A disappoiinting omission in an otherwise well written article

Posted by hauler on (March 24, 2011, 13:01 GMT)

Interesting article. Good perspective. Personally, I do not see the need for a batsman to walk if the umpire does not give him out. If the batsman chivalrously gives himself out everytime he nicks, how does he even the odds for the times the umpire gives him out when he has not actually touched the ball. I say "stay put", and give it a chance to get it all evened over a career.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 24, 2011, 12:43 GMT)

Let him walk in Knock out stage. We will see about that. He will be cursed if india loses game. He is always show off when games do not matter. When there is pressure he lays egg always.

Posted by mitgop11 on (March 24, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

the same SRT refused to walk when he gloved Suresh Raina to MSD during the IPL3 finals in Mumbai. Where did the reputation thing go then ?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

This is not the first time Tendulkar has walked. If you remember the Sharjah match against Australia where he scored 143, he was not given out. Then Sachin consulted the square leg umpire if the ball was a No-Ball. When the umpire ruled out No-Ball, Sachin, without looking at the other umpire, started woking.

At that moment, he was in such a form and in control that he could have won India that match but he decided to walk on such an occasion.

Posted by kingofwessex on (March 24, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

I find this debate extraordinary. The legacy of a batsman and indeed any professional sportsman must include his onfield conduct. Gilchrist's honesty and integrity are now fast overshadowing his actual skill. He will always be remembered for his walking. It is interesting to see how times have changed regarding this debate, but I find Andrew Miller's point of view on Switch Hit disheartening. To say that walking is a dead subject, not relevant to today's cricket is completely wrong in my view. Tendulkar's decision, though perhaps calculated for maximum effect, was still done for the right reasons. I applaud any batsmen's decision to walk. If he knows he is out, then he should go. Has anyone thought that perhaps a batsmen's self-worth could increase through walking? Perhaps the fact that Tendulkar and Gilchrist are honest with themselves allows them to perform better in subsequent innings? A sportsman at peace is a sportsman who performs. Just look at Ponting's problems now for proof.

Posted by peterbarraud on (March 24, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

Too much being said about Tendulkar's "walk". To say this would be one of the (or the) most cherishable moment of this World Cup, is pretty much bordering on the ridiculous. Sachin is a great batsman. Most certainly one of the greatest. But walk he does as an exception not as a rule. Will he walk if something similar happens in today's match against Australia - I doubt this naive writer would get anyone to wager that he would. Will he walk if something similar happens if India play Pakistan next, I doubt this writer would wager on it himself. Is Tendulkar dishonest if he does not walk - Maybe, Maybe Not Does Tendulkar walk by exception or by rule - EXCEPTION. EXCEPTION. EXCEPTION.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

if Ponting stays back in crease, pretending to be innocent..nothing will happen. but,if the same is done by tendulkar, he must have made millions of young cricketers around the world to follow his act, for he is the most respected current player of the game. personally i feel, this article is to defame tendulkar

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

Does one act of ethicality makes you a gentleman ??? I still remember the recent India tour of South Africa where Sachin stood his ground even after edging the ball for a catch when the umpire didn't turn him out. With the stakes increasing with every match that is played, it becomes difficult for a sportsman to stay ethical. DRS review system is a must now if you want cricket to be clean. Or else we will see many Steve Bucknors, Aleem Dars and Billy Bowdens being blamed for the result of the match rather than players reviewing their perfomance itself.

Posted by Punters_Mate on (March 24, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

DRS will expose the occasional walker who makes a decision based on the team and personal score. Reckon you have got it spot on Rob and ST was quick to protect his image. Should not blame the older players or call them cheats as that is the way they played pre DRS. The next crop of players will handle DRS much better and "walking" if only to prevent embarassment will become common.

Posted by D.Sharma on (March 24, 2011, 7:57 GMT)

I wonder why no one seems to remember the 2008 CB series where Tendulkar didn't walk.

Posted by LondonRaj on (March 24, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

Just want to ask, why you are trying to give a twist to Tendulkar incident? How come Ponting did not think the same you think Tendulkar may have. Was he not worried what TV replays would show?. In my opinion there was not much debate in media or TV when Ponting did not walk but as soon as Tendulkar walked all the non-walkers and their supporters came out to justify. It is very simple, walking or not, its all personal moral choice. And honesty or not gets decided from there.

Posted by harshthakor on (March 24, 2011, 7:22 GMT)

Long Live sportsmanship in the glorious game of Cricket ! The game has virtually been reduced to crass commercialism with graeter emphasis being placed over winning at all costs over sportsmanship or the spirit of the game.Sachin Tendulkar is a pefect example to emulate when he walked just like the great Adam Gilchrist or Gary Sobers or Frank Worrell before .These acts will be remembered for ever in the annals of cricket and not the unsporting attitudes of W.G Grace or Ricky Ponting,however great there cricketing exploits may have been on the field.

Posted by steveoehley on (March 24, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

That was no great piece of sportsmanship from Tendulkar. He only walked because he knew technology would have got the better of him anyway. Against South Africa in the crucial 3rd test he was caught behind on 49 against Steyn and did not walk. That cost SA the series. There was no DRS system there. So much for sportsmanship. Tendulkar will walk in a crucial knock out match.. yeah right.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

You know when I last remember sachin walking, was in do or die match against AUS in sharjah where he scored, I think 134. and Umpire was still not sure if he nicked it. and yet he just walked. But by that time India was already in Finals and it didn't seems all that odd.

Posted by Charindra on (March 24, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

I love to watch Sachin bat and all that, but yes, he is not usually a walker. I think the DRS played on his mind this time. But hey, who cares, the result was the correct one! :)

Posted by cricket_saint on (March 24, 2011, 6:59 GMT)

Sachin walked that was a gentleman's way but the way the opponent's celebrated tells us that times have changed. had rampaul or WI team acknowledged the greatness of the Man, verily I say to you they would have been in the semiFinals.One wrong act and down tumbling you go. sachin is not greedy and has lots of patience and definetly knows when its his day and how to acknowledge it with a ton.Had sachin stayed not the umpire, nor the opposition team or the technology could have proved that he was out but for the great man showing to others is not a matter of concern. Sachin plays with passion and thats because he has maintained a pure consiousnce after this many years on the field speaks about his greatness.He has a goal to satisfy and thats not some memorabilia or cups but something that resides inside him.His soul...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

brilliantly brilliantly written piece...rob has beautifully juxtaposed the moral and ethical dilemma of walking with the larger, overarching impact on cricketers who are now brands...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

that's the way Sachin plays n that's show the greatness of the player and still showing the game is played by the Gentleman

Posted by celebration on (March 24, 2011, 6:55 GMT)

Everyone wants to win whether in sport or in life. But to rather bear the pain of defeat than to compromise on honesty, integrity and fairness is a quality specific to sportsmen and a lesson of any sport. Take that away from a sport, and I'd rather play videogames!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:53 GMT)

Analysis should be based on facts and not merely conjectures. Tendulkar had already turned halfway towards the dressing room when Davies shook his head. The DRS hardly had any bearing on his decision. In 1998 in Sharjah, a time long before either DRS or Hotspot came into being, Tendulkar walked after gloving the ball to the keeper. He was the only one standing between Australia and a victory then. Tendulkar doesn't walk because he is an idol for the Indians. The fact that he walks is one of the reasons that he is an idol for every Indian.

Posted by lakshmichand on (March 24, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

first thing stop considering master not to be of this age or era or generation. very much younger than the youngest. And the rest of the discussion seemed to be a bit useless to me. a man, unafraid of any challenges, hunger to score runs, cool, calm, humble personality - Mr. Sachin, walked away. so that shows his respect towards the game, his sportsman ship which shadowed his selfish desires of playing... so what do u think? he is great run getter, player or what ever... i feel he is a perfect ambassador of game - though not a pure sachin fan.. Thank you

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

Why is the honesty shown by tendulkar openning such a big debate. It is something to be done by every batsman which most of the batsman donot do; not even tendulkar used to do it before. Honesty and integrity are too integral part of life whatever your profession is you have to be truthful and brave enough to judge yourself and make the right decision no matter what the umpires say.

Posted by taemoorkhan on (March 24, 2011, 6:38 GMT)

What sped through his mind in the seconds before he was given not out against West Indies? Did he decide to go out of pragmatism or nobility? was UDRS.

Posted by Anantharaman_J on (March 24, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Beautiful article. The best was to leave the judgement part out. We know not how a persons mind works.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:25 GMT)

Its not the first time that Tendulkar has walked out even when being ruled not out. I still remember the crucial match of 1999 match vs Australia at Sharjah where Sachin walked out when there were no reviews. He was always a player who played with ethics, a very rare characteristic of today's game.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

well this act by tendulkar is appreciable BUT he does NOT do it every time does he ?? there have been may occasions in the past where he benefited from Umpire's decision and didnt walk. Ni with this new review system even if you are NOT given out when you are actually out there is a 80% chance that you will have to leave the field anyway. So Tendulkar did a favor to the WI but not letting them use their review and thats about it !!!!!!

Posted by Chris_Howard on (March 24, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

Well said, Rob. In the past it was reasonable for a batsmen to not to walk as he had no equivalent menas of reversing a decision if given out wrongly. The UDRS means he will likely walk when he has knicked the ball because he knows if he hasn't knicked it, he can appeal. And even Mr Ponting might start walking once he understands that.

Posted by rajnish.sinha on (March 24, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

i personally think its the UDRS factor that prompted him to walk. taking nothing away from Tendulkar, he still waited for the umpire to give his decision and tat shows respect for the onfield authority. now that UDRS is in place, may be other batsmen should start walking too and save precious time. at least sachin realises the trust people place in his honesty and cares for it.

Posted by mkv. on (March 24, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

salute to the GOD of cricket..

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:06 GMT)

The best thing for umpires to practice would be, when they are not sure about an edge, check with the player. if the player says he is out.. fine. else give it not out. The fielding side would always have the option for a review. Just do not stand their looking like a fool and give it out when the player is already walking off

Posted by abhi_cricinfo on (March 24, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

When the ball nicked Sachin's bat , he stood and waited for umpires decision , waited and walked. I think ''waiting'' thing was to respect umpire presence but when he realised that umpire gave wrong decision he walked .This walk was completely different from Gilly's one. Sachin done exactly same thing against Australia in Sharjah (1998) when India required 32 of 19 balls and he was on 143. And No wonder if he does that again. By the way how many times has he Walked in his carrier overall ?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

Sachin is God! What he does is always right...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

One will never know what prompted Sachin to walk that day unless he at some point decides to shed light on what went through his mind. In the heat of a big game a lot of unexpected things happen and I would choose to look at this as one of them! Nevertheless, I yet think that despite its flaws the DRS is a step forward and should be continued with albeit with a few tweaks.

Posted by lord_v on (March 24, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

Simple.. With UDRS being used , Tendulkar would have thought that WI would go for referral anyways and it would show that he was out so why waste time... Also Remember , he was the first batsman to be given out by third umpire (run out referral)..

Posted by SUPREMOS on (March 24, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

I remember an incident of the India v/s England series of 1986 in Eng. In that series Allan Lamb had walked though the umpire had not given him out (England were in a precarious position and lost the match). Lamb was instantly thrown out of the team in the next test. This could be one of the reasons why batsment don't walk.

Posted by Rx100 on (March 24, 2011, 5:42 GMT)

In the early part of his career Tedulkar walked (there was no UDRS then), in the last few seasons he has had a couple of instances where he stayed put. Most probably the cause was the UDRS but also possibly being comprehensively beaten by a brilliant delivery. I think he just appreciated a brilliant delivery.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

Rob, this piece can't be complete without the mention of BC Lara. Never ever seen him not walking when he knew he was out...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 5:37 GMT)

I had never seen Tendulkar walk before this incident. I think the Ricky Ponting incident and the backlash in its aftermath and the availability of the DRS were playing on his mind when he made his quick decision to walk. I can remember incidents where he has stood his ground and has benefited from decisions that have gone his way. So, this raises a couple of questions: has Tendulkar changed for good? Or has the technology forced him to change for good? Only time will tell the answer. Let's wait for the future series/tournaments in which there is no DRS, and see what he does.

Posted by melvn on (March 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

Mr. Rob Steen. It is not due to Pragmatism, sachin walked, but merely due to his professional integrity. Sachin has done this many times before. The 1998 match against Australia where he scored 143 (sand storm match),he walked despite of the umpire being quiet. If the UDRS was implemented 20 years ago, sachin could have reversed atleast 50% of his LBW decisions. India would have won by a big margin in the Sydney match 2007/08 had UDRS been used.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

As a lover of the game I can just say one thing - the batsman ALWAYS knows when he has nicked it! There are endless ways to stay within the rule book - you can run an overthrow when the ball ricochets off you, you can run the non-striker out when he is backing up too far without warning etc. But to stay on, when you KNOW that you are out is to hope that the umpire will get it wrong.The wrong decision by ump is not a rule, its a human error, a mistake and you hope to piggyback on that. That is willful and dishonest. To say it's within the laws is like saying we can earn more and show less, hoping to evade the taxes. There are convenient walkers - form, team position, match importance etc guiding their behavior; agreed the batsman has only one chance and must get the benefits but there is no excuse for intentional dishonesty against the bowler who created the chance with deserving effort.

Posted by Krickna on (March 24, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

It is moments like this that really differentiate a batsmen like Sachin from every other batsmen in the world. He is in a class of his own. Both in the strokes he plays on the pitch, and the character he shows by walking off.

Posted by roshan810 on (March 24, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

As writer said..what ever was the reason of tendulkar's walking...we got the correct result and that is all matters. Forget about the image of tendulkar, it's all about he is convinced that he nicked it and I am sure if he has a smallest of dought about nick, he would have stayed there 100%. that's it.

Posted by AvinashDs on (March 24, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

It doesn't matter why he did it. People may be weak or strong, but the role of the media should be to encourage it and not cast aspersions about the intent. You then may see a lot more people being encouraged to walk.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

This hows the respect of Sachin's towards game. He is ideal role model for Cricket, and always does what a role model should do. That will inspire coming generation and overall game too.

Posted by South_Indian on (March 24, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

OMG! enough of this Tendulkar stories, honestly there are many others who walk when given not-out, not just this guy from India. For too long we have been reading all this over hyped articles about Indian players, who will themselves cringe in shyness.

Posted by DesiTigers on (March 24, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

I am so surprised that everybody talks about Gilchrist when it comes to walking. But he to me was like Nick Knight, a convinient walker. Sachin Tendulkar is even worse. He doesnt look at things like form or match situation for his decision to walk. He takes into account material things for his walking. Having said all this, the one batsman who always walked in the modern era was Brian Charles Lara. For a batsman who got so many howlers during his career, his honesty in walking everytimg he knew he knicked it was great. Please start making use of Lara as an example and not a Gilchrist.

Posted by Salander on (March 24, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

Replays clearly showed that Tendulkar was not looking at the umpire before he walked.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

Sachin should be applauded for what he did. Most likely his last world cup & playing in his best form & took a decision in fraction of second to walk out. Like every human basic instinct would say you will be loosing records and your team chances winninf if you walk. To decide on top of it for honesty will only come from great hearts (ponting? at that moment ). We are just analyzing the honesty in cricket, This problem is there every industry in the world that's why the economy and everything is too unpredictable (im not suggesting honesty will make better economy). I dont think we should talk less about anyone who stood there for umpire decision to b right but we should encourage the sportsmanship for Sachin & not discourage who didnt. Those who didnt followed the rules. Those who walked out made us all realize that excellence is beyond rules. Praise the brave hearts. The rules will b less if we all are honest. Before you praise or blame anyone how much honest you are. Tendy Rocks!!

Posted by SachinLara1 on (March 24, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Sachin is the best.............

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

hey hey hey.SRT is not a walker..but he walks last all indians trying to show that he is a walker..i remember a SL IND match in 97 when sujeewa de silva is the bowler..indian umpire who saw the edge and almost race his finger,but last second decided to touch hi hat instead of giving that out..replays showed that itz clear knick..but SRT didnt walk..

Posted by Horn.OK.Please on (March 24, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

Beautiful article. I think Sachin was right.. Earlier times, he had been given out on many occasions even though he was not, and so it would have made sense to stand his ground when appealed. But now, with the DRS in place, he can walk when he nicked and review when given out wrongly..

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

Rob, Excellent article, especially the insight into the history of walking.

You wrote, "One assumes Tendulkar knew he'd nicked it, but when the appeal was rejected he didn't go all Hamlet on us like Barrington; he was decisive, off in a flash."

If you look at the replays over and over again, it appears that SRT didn't see the Umps decision.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

Posturing may well be a thing of the past with the DRS.

Posted by tifoso on (March 24, 2011, 4:25 GMT)

The contextual part of the article was a great read, but I think you're reading too much between the lines in the Tendulkar circumstance.

Sachin has always walked when he thinks he's actually out, and this time was no different. That's it. It's not fair to him for you to raise hypothetical thoughts and suggest that they played through Sachin's mind at the time.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2011, 4:24 GMT)

I completely disagree with the author. If this was the first instance of Tendulkar walking, then perhaps we could agree with this article to some degree, however Tendulkar has been walking long before the DRS was even instated. It is premature to assume he might have walked out of fear. Ridiculous.

Posted by ram_sachin on (March 24, 2011, 4:18 GMT)

Sachin's walked after a knick from Fleming's bouncer in Sharjah in 1998 vs Aus, when every body on the field knew that, shudd he had stayed there, Oz's would ve had lost the match.. Such is the legacy of the legend. Now he's just risen a notch higher Truly indomitable.

Posted by Shankar on (March 24, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

DRS and principles apart, there could be another factor. I recall one past incident wherein SRT was out, but not given by umpire, and he did not walk either. But it weighed heavily on his mind, he was off colour for the rest of the innings. Sometimes, when a batsman knows that he is blatantly out, he may feel compelled to leave.

Posted by JAMJAMJAMMY on (March 24, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

I think Sachin too is a selective walker in the lines of what Nick Knight has said... He didn't walk after Nicking one off Dale Steyn earlier this year in South Africa, but again through many instances in his career he has, e.g. Sharjah in the 90's.. there have been multiple instances of not walking also. this is not to disrespect him in any way. but one should make an informed decision /comment while comparing someone...

Posted by waseem_akhtar on (March 24, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

It was a great decision by a great batsman. I don't know why walking out has been made such a science. How else should one behave in a gentleman's game?

Posted by aj_space on (March 24, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

Hey Walking is not new for Tendulkar. He walked all by himself aftr his desert storm 141 against Aussies in 1998-99. He has always been a noble man.

Posted by naveenacer on (March 24, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

UDRS is there thats why sachin is walking? if they review it will shame for sachin.

Posted by pakspin on (March 24, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

Tendulker has never walked in his life..he has stood ground even when clearly knowing he knicked the ball ....he knew he would challenged and would be given out by the third umpire anyway so he walked..he never did this before

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Rob SteenClose
Rob Steen Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton, whose books include biographies of Desmond Haynes and David Gower (Cricket Society Literary Award winner) and 500-1 - The Miracle of Headingley '81. His investigation for the Wisden Cricketer, "Whatever Happened to the Black Cricketer?", won the UK section of the 2005 EU Journalism Award "For diversity, against discrimination"

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