England in South Africa 2009-10

Sunil Gavaskar alleges nexus over Stuart Broad non-action

Cricinfo staff

December 27, 2009

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Stuart Broad appeals for lbw during the morning session at Buffalo Park, South African Invitational XI v England XI at East London, December 12, 2009
Sunil Gavaskar: 'Stuart Broad knows he can get away with it and indeed he has.' © PA Photos
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Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar believes the reason why Stuart Broad gets away with questioning umpires' decisions all the time is because his father, Chris Broad, is an ICC match referee. Gavaskar said the 23-year-old England fast bowler was an "exceptional cricketer in the making", but was surprised why Stuart had not even been reported or called before the match referee, and had got away scot free for offences that would make others lose a substantial portion of their match fees.

"Stuart's father Chris is one of ICC's match referees and so the umpires are reluctant to make a complaint against the youngster," wrote Gavaskar in his column for Mid-Day, an Indian daily. "Remember the umpires and match referees are used to hanging out together in the evenings since they are in a foreign country and so forge a good relationship and obviously the umpires are not looking to spoil that by citing the young Broad for a violation of the code of conduct."

Gavaskar said the latest instance in South Africa, when Stuart was involved in an ugly on-field exchange with the umpires after being given out lbw following a delayed review from the South Africans, was just one among a long list.

"He knows he can get away with it and indeed he has," Gavaskar wrote. "Stuart has been quoted as saying he didn't think he had done anything wrong in questioning the umpires decision to refer the appeal to the third umpire since he thought that it hadn't come in the expected time but a bit later than is normally the case and therein has confirmed again that he thinks he is a special case and not on par with the rest of the cricketing world."

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain, in their columns in English newspapers, have previously highlighted the petulance that Stuart has shown at umpiring decisions ever since he broke into the England team.

"Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain in their articles have brought out the petulance of Stuart Broad," Gavaskar wrote. "They have been thinking cricketers and captains during their careers and much admired for the manner in which they conducted themselves on the field ... swearing and abusing the opposition when things are not going your way is not tough cricket. That in fact is cowardly cricket, for the practitioners of this approach would not have the courage to use the same language off the field to their opponents or anyone for that matter and hope to get away with it."

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