Lehmann Hoping Broad Has To Walk
On The Wild Side This Winter

Comment and Analysis | 21st August 2013

In what has become one of the most-talked subjects throughout this summer’s Ashes series, Darren Lehmann has launched an attack on Nottinghamshire’s Stuart Broad in light of his non-walking episode in the first Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Broad, in England’s second innings, nicked a delivery from Ashton Agar to first slip, via the gloves of Australian wicket keeper Brad Haddin. Broad waited to see the response from umpire Aleem Dar, and when given not out he stood at the crease and continued.

Darren Lehmann, ahead of the final match in this summer’s Investec Ashes series, incited the Australian public to make Broad ‘cry’ during the return series this winter.

"I hope he cries and goes home." Darren Lehmann

“I hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole [Australian] summer," he said.

"And I hope he cries and goes home. I don't advocate walking, but when you hit it to first slip it's pretty hard."

"Certainly our players haven't forgotten, they're calling him everything under the sun as they go past so I would hope the Australian public are the same because that was just blatant cheating."

"It wasn't as clear-cut as everyone had thought," Stuart Broad.

This comes in light of Broad admitting that he did hit the ball (for the first time), as well as commenting on the confusion among players as a result of the deflection off Haddin’s glove. 

"It wasn't as clear-cut as everyone had thought, although I knew I'd hit it," said Broad.

"It was an odd one. There was no particular noise because of the noise of Haddin's gloves.

"Agar came up to me and asked if I'd nicked it because he wasn't sure.”

In the widespread outcry over whether choosing not to walk was not in the spirit of the game, there have been many who haven’t walked, despite being deemed, but not given, out.

"Walking's an interesting one,” added Broad.

“You have a split second and sometimes when you edge it you walk out of pure frustration. You kick yourself and walk away."

Cricket is a sport of split-second decisions. From the release of the ball from the bowler’s arm to the timing and shot selection of a batsman facing a delivery at 90mph, fortunes can change in the blink of an eye.

This debate started with a split-second decision. A decision that saw Stuart Broad stand at the crease and wait to be given out rather than walking of his own volition.  Aleem Dar also had a split-second decision to make, and his single finger stayed down.

It was only the Australians who did not have a decision of their own to make, having used both of their reviews earlier in the innings. The review system, though admittedly one that has become as notorious as Broad’s decision to stay put, is in place to correct these errors. With a little more responsible use, this entire episode would have been avoided. Broad would have been given out, and the case closed.

As it is, it’s a fire that has been stoked the entire series, and will generate an extra little spice when Australia bid to reclaim The Ashes this winter. Will Broad stand for the hostility he’s likely to receive? Hopefully.

You can follow Davey Straw on Twitter @DaveStraw

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