Tony blogs on the “Gilchrist Dismissal” last night and comes to the conclusion that he walked “by mistake” and not in some attempt to usher in a new era of good sportsmanship.
I don’t think Gilly walked by mistake, however. He seemed to be paying full attention to the umpire, and only walked after it was clear he wasn’t going to be given out.
I can’t claim to know Adam personally or even have ever met him, but I think I understand the motivation behind his walking last night.
Gilly wants to win the world cup really badly, but not because he wants “the cup’. He wants to win because Australia are the best team in world cricket, and walking when he knows he’s out in a crucial game is a way of proving that.
Gilly also has a huge amount of confidence in his team. You don’t walk if you are the last hope, but as an opener in a lineup like ours, its a moral privilege you can afford.
When it comes to walking as a batsman in cricket, there are 3 schools of thought.
1. I will walk when I’m out, as that is the noble thing to do. It’s a game, and I don’t want to win dishonestly, that would be a hollow victory.
2. I won’t walk, because you get as many bad decisions as you get good ones, and it balances out in the end.
3. I won’t walk, because I want to win at any cost.
In practice it’s pretty hard to tell between justification #2 and #3, but that is the most common philosophy at most grades of cricket. In the days before Packer, #1 was the more common thinking, and back in the days of Bradman, was the only way.
A very good case was made for #2 last night, when Michael Bevan was given out first ball, caught behind. He didn’t make contact but was nevertheless out. That decision could easily have cost as the game in the same way that Gilchrist not walking could have won it for us.
I don’t think Gilchrist is trying to set any kind of example for his teammates or opponents. In the end I think he walked for his own benefit. He sees a world cup victory where he walked when out as a more comprehensive one than if he didn’t, and good on him. I’m not sure John Buchanan would take the same view, though.
** As an aside, every time I watch Gilly I think of the Stephen Curry character Eddie from the “Changi” mini-series. Maybe I’m just crazy.