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Do Walk. - Cricket

 

'Walking' is a technical cricket term where the batsman gives himself 'out' when the umpire failed to hear the sound of 'leather feathering the bat' (if the ball is subsequently caught) and therefore didn’t indicate that the batsman was 'out'. Nonetheless, if the batsman knows the truth in his heart, he can choose to 'walk'. 

 
Adam Gilchrist gained significant international notoriety in the 2003 World Cup when he 'walked' in the semi-final, which initiated the 'great debate on walking' throughout the modern world of cricket.
 
Mark Tronson, cricket chaplain of 25 years and a Baptist minister, summarises the two sides of the argument as follows.  On the one hand, umpires can make mistakes at any time, sometimes giving ‘out’ unfairly and sometimes missing a true ‘out’. On these grounds, the argument is made that it is all part of the flow of the game; some you win, some you lose, and it ‘evens out at the end’. On the other hand, the view that Adam Gilchrist has taken is that individual batsmen have to live with themselves and he, personally, needs to be upfront and honest regardless of the cost to himself or his team. In playing cricket, with this view, it is up to the individual to uphold the 'spirit of the game' played by 'gentlemen'.
 
An obvious issue arises where there is no longer a level playing field in terms of culture within different teams; for example if members of one team of cricketers 'never walk' whereas on the other team there are 'walkers'.... Adam Gilchrist spoke of an incident playing County Cricket in England when he was 17 years old. On one occasion he 'walked' and wrote to his parents that he knew he'd done the 'right thing' but was somehow 'disappointed'.  Then, playing for a New South Wales Second Eleven a few years later he chose 'not to walk' and went on to score a hundred runs. Although this was a phenomenal effort, he felt wretched inside and later apologised to the bowler. At that point, he determined never again to let himself down, and whatever the cost to himself or his team, he would chose to be a 'walker'.  -- Christian Today
 

Hifzur Meerapatel and Alex Holman both wrote in to say that while they applaud a cricketer who walks when he knows he is out, they do not condemn one who knows he is out but waits for the umpire's decision. There is no contradiction in this. When he walks, the batsman is following a general moral rule about honesty; when he stays, he is following the laws of cricket, which leave that decision to the umpire. So, much as we may praise Adam Gilchrist for walking in that World Cup semi-final, it is perfectly natural, also, to not raise an eyebrow when one of his team-mates does not walk despite an obvious snick. That is the way the game has been designed.
 
Sriram Gopalakrishnan writes in disputing the assertion that a batsman who does not walk despite knowing he is out and a fielder who appeals knowing the batsman is not out are equally culpable. Sriram points out: "All players are expected to uphold `The Spirit of Cricket', which specifically says it is considered cheating to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out (Section 5), while there is no specific mention of expecting a batsman to walk if he knows he is out."
 
Sriram goes on to say, "I admit that the difference I've described is merely a technicality as described by the laws." Well,Prasanna Ganesan writes in that a defence on technicalities is "a sure sign of indefensible morality".  -- Amit Varma,Cricinfo.com