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THE JON LEWIS COLUMN: Broad is not a cheat
6:00am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
READING Darren Lehmann’s comments this week regarding Stuart Broad’s perceived “cheating” got me thinking about what actually constitutes cheating in modern cricket.
It’s a really tough environment, professional sport, and it’s very dog eat dog. However, there is an unwritten code where some things are acceptable and some things aren’t which people call the spirit of cricket.
Whether that’s the right phrase for it I’m not sure because it is big business. You could equate it to diving in football or drawing a challenge off a defender in the box or a tackle that’s going to put one of your fellow professionals out of the game.
There are certain things you do and things you don’t as a professional.
I think Darren Lehmann has a point in that if you nick it to slip and don’t walk, for me that’s unacceptable.
But in the instance with Stuart Broad, when he stood his ground, he nicked it to the keeper and the ball ended up at slip. In my opinion that’s different.
It’s not Broad’s fault the umpire got the decision wrong, all he did was stand there and ask him to make a decision.
I don’t have an issue with that. If you hit the ball to cover or mid-off and stand there, just get off the field.
Sometimes with catches that do bounce the fielder doesn’t actually know. You get a feeling that it might not have carried but it goes straight into the palm of your hand.
If you catch one and you’re not sure you might say you caught it and it’s then up to the umpires to make the decision. Nine times out of 10, if they’re not sure, they’ll go with the batsman’s side of it.
With the introduction of scrutiny through cameras, the benefit of the doubt in favour of the batsman has disappeared.
It’s always been part of the game before but that doesn’t seem to happen any more.
I fully understand the pressure the players are under to earn a living and stay in the team, and they’re under constant scrutiny.
There are plenty of times you get a guy out when he’s not out and there are plenty of times he’s not out when he’s out.
It’s swings and roundabouts and over the course of my career those decisions will have evened themselves out.
Of course you get frustrated and aggravated because you’re passionate about the sport you’re playing, however you have to deal with that and we deal with it on a daily basis as county cricketers.
Because of DRS and Hotspot it becomes more contentious, more high profile and more people are talking about it. On a daily basis umpires will make mistakes, but they won’t make as many mistakes as the players playing the game.
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