'Honest' van Lingen defends his walk

Namibia Under-19s celebrate their two-wicket win over South Africa Under-19s © ICC

The South Africans roared in appeal as Sean Whitehead got one to slide past the left-hand batman Michael van Lingen, who appeared to have edged the ball to wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. However, the umpire Enamul Haque said no to them, irking the South Africans. A moment later, though, van Lingen started to walk towards the pavilion.

It took everyone a few seconds to realise that van Lingen was walking. Some of the South Africa players looked at him while Lohan Louwrens tried to tell van Lingen something, but they were too far from each other by then.

Some of the parents of the South Africa players could be hear saying “good sportsmanship”. There were also some claps from van Lingen’s team-mates in the dressing-room.

Namibia had just slipped to 50 for 4 chasing 137 runs against the defending champions South Africa, with their biggest win ever on the line. What van Lingen did apparently did not go down too well with his team-mates, but he would not have done it any other way.

“It is the nature of my game,” van Lingen told ESPNcricinfo. “If I am out, I’m out. To be an honest person, and be as good a sportsman as I can. I think I just felt inside me to just walk.”

But when he had walked off, did he have any lingering feeling that perhaps he could have stayed back?

“There’s always the feeling there. Some of my teammates said they wouldn’t have walked; they would stayed in. I just had the feeling I had to go.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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