Cricket Spirit st Match Referee b Stuart Broad

The day after.

Stuart Broad did not apologise for not walking on the third day of the first Test in the Ashes, nor did umpire Aleem Dar. Rival team captain Michael Clarke did though, only for venting his anger at a blatant injustice.

Stuart – the son of Chris, an upholder of the ICC rules and the way a game should be run – has not for the first time proved that father-son are complete hypocrites of the first order. (Check out the facts from Chris Broad as a player in 1987 v Pakistan at Lahore to Broad’s string of misdemeanours.)

Those defending him will lampoon every argument that there is a different set of rules for England and Australia, and another for India. ‘Mate, no need to go overboard, it is a batsman’s right to stay at the wicket’ they will say.

If it was Australia’s fault not to conserve their referrals, they are the ones who will tell God decided to send rain my way only on the day I forgot my umbrella.

Then there is the view that right or wrong, Australia deserved to be at the wrong end of the stick for a change. And as Anand Vasu says in Wisden India, if Adam Gilchrist walked, he also claimed wickets behind the stumps for ones he knew were non-existent.

Irrespective of Broad’s reputation and that of what is at stake here, umpire Aleem Dar will be punished eventually for his mistakes when the annual appraisal form is being filled.

By ignoring the fact repeatedly that his acts will be caught on TV and by opting to stay, Broad chose to make the moment his own and influence the game’s result, like the footballers do.

A diver knows he will be caught on camera and face the consequences but for the moment a winning penalty and a favourable result is all that matters and he will do it again if he has to. Ask Luis Suarez or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Incidentally, Clarke has apologised every time he has cheated by staying at the wicket later. All is fair in love and war but cricket also being a gentlemen’s game, an apology is conceding a small battle after the war is one.

But my bone here is the end of the day belongs to match referee to restore what the laws could not: the spirit of the game by handing out punishments at the least. Dinesh Ramdin and Ridley Jacobs got it, but Justin Langer did not.

The match referee in Ramdin and Langer’s cases – Chris Broad.

The man on whose desk at Trent Bridge where the buck should have stopped is match referee Ranjan Madugalle, another official stooge in the ICC with a chequered past (if you know what that means).

Yet again, Madugalle has let down the world of cricket.

PS: Tempting as it is there are incidents like Ian Bell’s recall by MS Dhoni at Trent Bridge two years ago and Virender Sehwag being requested to recall the Mankaded Lahiru Thirimanne to further stretch the point, but have been ignored lest this piece risks getting tinted in the colours of an aggrieved Indian writer.

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