'Spirit of cricket?': Indian player's 'ridiculous' act sparks debate

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·Sports Reporter
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Punam Raut (pictured left) playing a shot and (pictured right) walking off after being given not out by the umpire.
Punam Raut (pictured right) walked off after being given not out by the umpire (pictured left), which sparked a 'spirit of cricket' debate. (Images: Channel 7)

The Test match between Australia and India erupted after batter Punam Raut's remarkable decision to walk after she was given not out sparked the 'spirit of cricket' debate.

Raut had made a patient 36 off 165 deliveries in India's first innings at Metricon Stadium when a delivery from spinner Sophie Molineux flashed past her outside edge and into the gloves of Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.

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Despite a half-hearted appeal and umpire Phillip Gillespie shaking his head and saying "not out", Raut turned on her heel and walked off.

With no DRS in play, the classy act prompted a standing ovation from her team and her teammates later praised her for the courageous decision.

However, the decision to walk sparked the never-ending debate regarding the 'spirit of cricket'.

Plenty of viewers remarked Raut's decision to walk was a brilliant act of sportsmanship.

However, many argued ignoring the umpire's decision was disrespectful to her team and the umpire.

Australian fast-bowling great Jason Gillespie said these decisions are a grey area in the game.

"The 'spirit of cricket', and what constitutes this, differs from country to country and in some cases, between states/counties/provinces/islands," he wrote.

"The laws of the game are in place. Stick to these and the grey areas within our game are removed."

Players weigh-in on spirit of cricket debate

The two teams were torn over Raut's decision to walk.

Not long after Raut's decision, Australian captain Beth Mooney was asked if she would have done the same thing.

“No way,” she said. “Don't know. The umpire said not out."

Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim also weighed-in on the debate.

“It was very strange to be honest. There is no DRS,” she told Sony Sports Network.

“I hope Raut doesn't regret it now,” added former India women's cricketer Nooshin Al Khadeer.

Teammate and opener Smriti Mandhana said the team initially reacted with shock over Raut's sudden decision.

Punam Raut (pictured) walks off the field, despite being given not out against Australia.
Punam Raut (pictured) looks dejected after being dismissed during day two of the Women's International Test match between Australia and India at Metricon Stadium on October 01, 2021 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

However, she said Raut's decision had won over the respect of the team.

“First we reacted, like, ‘Oh, why did she do that?’ But, then, of course, it’s something that we all respect a lot. I think she has earned a lot of respect from all the team-mates that she actually walked out," she said.

"And I don’t know how many people would actually do that in cricket at the moment - men’s or women’s," said Smriti to reporters after the day’s play was brought to a close due to rain.

“Nowadays people walk out because there is DRS. But when there is no DRS and to walk out, I don’t know.

"So, definitely she has earned a lot of respect from us, but, yeah, the first reaction was, ‘Oh, was it actually an edge or why did she walk?’ That was out first reaction."

The controversy comes after Indian player Ravi Ashwin hit back at his critics after sparking controversy around the 'spirit of cricket' in the IPL.

The Indian spinner was labelled "disgraceful" by Australian legend Shane Warne on Wednesday for taking an extra run after a fielder's throw ricocheted off his Delhi Capitals batting partner Rishabh Pant.

with AAP

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