“If that is so, then, I believe, the definition of the true spirit of the game is needed to be tweaked to suit the brutal pursuit of fame and success by the modern cricketers,” says Faisal Caesar 

 

What a wonderful five days of Test match cricket we had in Trent Bridge! Apart from the first day, Nottingham was blessed with glorious sunshine, and under the blazing sunshine, cricket witnessed a Test match full of action-packed drama. From Peter Siddles’ fabulous five-wicket haul to Ashton Agar’s epic 98 on debut; from James Anderson’s exhibition of master-class swing bowling to Ian Bell’s defiant hundred; and to top it all Stuart Broad’s denial to walk  – Trent Bridge had all the ingredients to fall in love with Test cricket.

I always advise the young generation to watch Test cricket more and more because it’s a complete philosophy and it teaches a cricketer how to be patient and composed to survive in the topsy-turvy world of international cricket.

Trent Bridge Test exemplified virtues like courage, perseverance, patience, and dedication, but has it been able to teach us about the true spirit of the game? The players of this beautiful game are the perfect ambassadors for expounding traits like integrity and uprightness but in Trent Bridge Stuart Broad’s action dented the true spirit of the game.

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An inspiring last-wicket stand of 163 between doughty Phil Hughes and energetic Agar, who became a part of cricketing folklore with his valiant 98, put Australia in a commanding position in the first innings. England had the Australians in the soup at 117 for 9 but still found themselves trailing by 65 runs in the first innings.

When the English started their second innings, they found the going tough as wickets kept on falling and a substantial lead was not achieved. When Matt Prior trudged back to the pavilion, England were just leading by 153 runs and the new batsman Broad, who had hardly been on the field due to an injury came to join Bell. These two were the last recognized batsmen for England and the hosts had their hopes pinned on their partnership.

In the 118th over, came the most defining moment of this Test match. Agar pitched one short outside the off-stump which Broad nicked to Michel Clarke standing at the first slip. The Australians started to rejoice and celebrate but suddenly they discovered that Broad was not walking and the umpire Aleem Dar stood firm and didn’t raise his finger.

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It was a nick which was clear; everybody heard it except Dar. Dar committed a blunder but what Broad did was shameful in the true sense of terms. He should have started walking as he knew it very well that he had nicked it. I was surprised to see the English players supporting Broad who more often questions about others’ integrity. Remember what happened in a tour match in Sri Lanka last year where the Sri Lankan Board XI batsman Diluran Perera questioned an Andrew Strauss catch and refused to walk.

The English were left fuming especially Graeme Swann who questioned Perera’s integrity, pronounced him a cheater, and expressed his desire to kill the batsman. Well, what sort of integrity does Broad possess? Did Swann desire to kill Broad while he refused to walk?

Perhaps not!

But it’s a matter of establishing the true spirit of the game and it depends on the players to implement it. Broad’s refusal to walk after being blatantly out has conveyed an ill message to the young generation who are following this exciting Ashes Test series. Some former cricketers supported the English all-rounder saying that in modern-day cricket, which is ruled by cut-throat competition, Broad was within his rights not to walk. But does this game need such acts that pollute the young minds and leave the spirit of the game in tatters?

If that is so, then, I believe, the definition of the true spirit of the game is needed to be tweaked to suit the brutal pursuit of fame and success by the modern cricketers.