Should a batsman walk when dismissed and if not, is it considered cheating?

What is at stake for a batsman?

You have not been performing for a while. And this is probably your last chance as a batsman in the side. If you fail this time, there won’t be a next time. The ball comes your way and you get the slightest of edges. Should you, as a batsman walk? You decide not to, just yet.

You know it and the opposition goes up in appeal. You look at the umpire to make his decision and he luckily gives you not out. The opposition players come to you and ask you to walk off. Your self-consciousness tells you to walk. Walk or not to walk?

Such dramas in cricket invoke many discussion points and a few of those are as follows:

Is standing your ground cheating or against the spirit of the game?

Is not walking considered as cheating or is it only against the spirit of the game? This has always been an on-going debate. Let us assume that it might be cheating; Then, what about all those false appeals that the opposition team make to try to pressurise the umpire to give a batsman out.

If not walking is cheating, then aren’t such appeals cheating too, or just against the spirit of the game? It is extremely hard to decide.

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Is it not the umpires’ decision?

Let us delve into few scenarios:

  • What about when you are standing at the other end and watching the bowler bowl a wide or a no ball, having looked at the umpire with no expression?
  • How often have you been given out when you know that you were not? How annoyed were you?

Should you be allowed to argue with the umpire in all these cases? We can question the ethics of the game. Should the batsman be doing the umpire’s job, by walking off? Why should he or she, since they have no power on any of the questions described above.

Adam Gilchrist famous walking incident at the 2003 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final.

The role of DRS

With the introduction of DRS technology, the game situation has become even more intricate. Both bowlers and the batsman have now been given the umpire’s authority. Now, both can reach certain conclusions about the umpire’s decision.

This excludes the case that the review turns out to be an umpire’s call. If this happens, one or the other party often considers itself to be hard done by the on-field umpire’s decision.

With the bowling side having the power to revert an umpire’s decision, should it be still called cheating if the batsman does not walk off, if the fielding site opt not to review?

Or is it the sheer ineptness of the fielding side, in failing to capture an opportunity, similar to that off a drop catch?

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Summary

Not walking off can not be termed as cheating or not, depending on what perspective it is viewed at. Many times batsmen have been given out when he/she is not and he/she has to walk off. Also, often the fielding side makes appeals that may not be very genuine.

On the other hand, if a fielder claims a catch he/she has dropped, it will be termed as cheating, while a batsman’s deception to hide his/hers dismissal is not.

Furthermore, it is also debated that all the decision making should be allocated to the technology as it is correct more often than not. Nevertheless, there are no clear boundaries to decide whether a batsman’s not walking should be termed as cheating or just against the spirit of the game.

So, what do you think?

Should a batsman walk when they are dismissed?

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