I won’t keep you long. I’ve got a train to catch and I haven’t really packed. And in any case, this is another piece about Stuart Broad, and you’ve read quite a few of those recently.
Indeed, you may have read one this very morning that compared Broad to Lance Armstrong and Tyson Gay, about which you can draw your own conclusions. But agree or disagree with that, much of the debate around Broad focused on a rather basic misunderstanding of what he did. Broad has been described as a cheat for not walking, with the most frequent comparison from those who require this to be grounded in something they know (i.e., football) being diving, or perhaps Diego Maradona’s handball in 1986.
That’s not what Broad did. Diving and handball are both acts of cheating – nicking to the wicketkeeper (another thing that has been lost – Broad nicked to the keeper, not first slip) is not. If one must draw a comparison with football, the equivalent is knowing the ball has crossed the line and pretending it didn’t. How many furious op-ed pieces did you read declaring Roy Carroll was a revolting cheat after this?
Quite rightly, the criticism in that instance was against the officials for not spotting the goal, so why has Aleem Dar not been given a sound thrashing in the papers for a rare moment of complete incompetence? If Dar had done his job and given a non-walking Broad out, nobody would have noticed he didn’t instantly turn on his heels and lope to the pavilion, none of this furore would have happened and those of us who watch the game more often than once every two years would have been spared smashing our heads against a wall for the last week. Broad was basically stitched up by Aleem Dar making a mistake. Oh, and as my colleague Mr Tickner points out, Michael Clarke as well, who’d spunked his two reviews up the wall so lost the chance to get the right call.
“I hit the ball so I knew what result was coming.”
Brad Haddin said that yesterday, about the wicket that won the Test for England. He knew he hit the thing as much as Broad did. Neither walked, but nobody gave a shit that Haddin didn’t because he was given out.
Anyway, I’m off to find some clean socks.