Of course humanity, sport and particularly cricket have more shades of grey than an second hand book store. This is not helped by the most ambiguous set of ‘rules’ in any sport “the spirit of cricket”.
The spirit of cricket is not a cocktail that drives Freddie Flintoff into a pedalo at past midnight, or convinces David Warner he is actually David Haye. It is a moral code enshrined in the preamble to the law of the game – professional players can be fined and banned for not upholding it.
So what exactly is the Spirit Of Cricket and does it cover walking? Is not walking actually cheating and is it even immoral?
You can read the preamble to the laws yourself here.
It mentions dissent, aggression, physical violence, accepting the umpires decision, respect, appealing when clearly not out and distraction as some points.The first and controversial Ashes test certainly had breaches and fine examples of this spirit.
Clarke aggressively approaching the umpire after Broad had thick edged a ball off Agar via the keeper to slip, being the former. Trott quietly walking off when he was let down by the third umpire and the operation of technology being the later. Broad not walking, I’m afraid not.
Whilst you could cite not walking is in breech of “the game and its traditional values” it would require a convention of walking which even in the most rose tinted PG Wodehouse history of the game hasn’t happened. Batsman have for as long as the willow been wielded fallen into three camps.
Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t walk this time
Gavaskar walks for LBW
Clarke doesn’t walk either