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Hussey defends decision to stand his ground

He defends his decision not to walk after surviving a confident appeal in the ODI win over England.
None | By Reuters, Melbourne
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2007 02:02 PM IST

Australian batsman Mike Hussey has defended his decision not to walk after surviving a confident appeal for caught behind in Friday's tri-series one-day international victory over England.

England's bowlers were sure they had dismissed Hussey when he prodded forward to a delivery from James Anderson and wicketkeeper Paul Nixon appealed for the catch.

Umpire Daryl Harper turned down the appeal, prompting a heated exchange between Hussey and England paceman James Anderson, who told the Australian he should have walked.

Hussey was on 19 at the time and went on to make an unbeaten 46 to guide Australia to a four-wicket victory and win the man of the match award.

Television replays were inconclusive although audio tapes detected a sound when the ball passed the bat and Hussey later defended his decision not to walk, saying he was within his rights to leave decision up to the umpire.

"I take the good decisions with the bad. I've had some where I've thought I wasn't out and I've had some where I have been out," he told a news conference.

"I leave it up to the umpires and they generally do a good job."

England captain Andrew Flintoff said his players were also obliged to accept the umpire's decision.

"There's not a great deal you can do about it," Flintoff said. "You hope they go your way and if they don't you get on with it."


The issue of walking in cricket is as old as the game itself. There are no specific rules on whether a batsman should walk or stand their ground but the game's defining mantra is that the umpire's decision is final.

The vast majority of batsmen have mostly stood their ground, including some of the game's most respected figures, Don Bradman and WG Grace, believing that good and bad decisions will ultimately balance themselves out.

The practice of voluntary walking was virtually non-existent before World War I, but briefly became popular in the 1930s with the spread of professional cricket.

Walking virtually died soon after with generations of international cricketers from all around the world publicly acknowledging they were non-walkers.

It has long been an accepted part of cricket but the issue reared his head when Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist broke with protocol and walked after being given not out during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Gilchrist's decision to walk in a semi-final against Sri Lanka made headlines around the world but also divided the cricket community.

While his stance was widely applauded, he has often been accused of double standards for not walking on lbw appeals or for appealing for catches off opposition players that did not touch the bat.

There were also concerns that his actions had undermined the role of umpires.

Despite his stance on the issue, Gilchrist has never condoned other players for not walking and has always insisted the decision should be left up to the individual.

"I'm not a walker, unlike Gilly," Hussey explained. "If he nicks the ball he walks. I don't walk."

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