| Gilchrist: ‘There was an obvious deflection’
Port Elizabeth: Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has urged other players to follow his example and walk when they know they are out.
Gilchrist walked from the ground after being caught off bat and pad by Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara in Tuesday’s semi-final, although umpire Rudi Koertzen had not given him out.
Onlookers were amazed, as the concept of walking has become a rarity in an era of high-pressure matches and large financial rewards for the winners.
The Australian wicketkeeper said on Wednesday he had been thinking about walking for some time. “I saw Rudi give me not out but I thought it was such an obvious deflection and something inside me said I should go,” he said.
“Ever since an incident in Adelaide in December when Justin Langer claimed a catch off Michael Vaughan that was then given not out it has been something I have been thinking about.
“I thought it was all well and good to think like that as a ’keeper but what would I do as a batsman if I nicked one' There seem to have been so many inconclusive incidents in cricket in the recent past I have begun to think it is up to players to start taking each others word and be honest with each other again.”
Aravinda de Silva, the bowler who claimed another international wicket as a result of Gilchrist’s decision, welcomed his opponent’s gesture.
“He (the umpire) did say ‘not out’ and it was a good gesture on Gilchrist’s part to have walked off,” he said. “It is very rare nowadays to see a batsman walking, although there is another guy, Brian Lara, who does it all the time.
“I think there are some gentlemen left in the game still.”
Gilchrist said he had taken his decision by himself and it had not been something the Australia team had decided upon.
“It is not a team thing, it is just something I have thought about myself,” he said. “I’m grateful for what Aravinda said and if it sets a precedent then that can only be good for the game.”
“I won’t be encouraging any of our batsmen to do it, it’s up to them,” he said.