“They came to see me bat, not you umpire,” WG Grace once supposedly said when given out lbw. This statement attributed to William Gilbert ‘W.G.’ Grace might just be a work of fiction. Or, may be true.
But what former England all-rounder Tim Bresnan has revealed establishes that a majority of fans fanatically stands with the batsmen. A bowler would attract more hate than praise for a priced scalp! The hate to the extent of a death threat. Bresnan himself has been subjected to that?
His fault. Denying the “God of Cricket” from reaching the biggest batting milestone of a hundred international hundreds.
Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 91 in the second innings of the Oval Test during India’s 2011 tour of England when Australian umpire Rod Tucker raised the finger on a loud appeal from Bresnan after the ball had struck on the Master Blaster on pads. DRS was not in play during the series. Replays later showed the first man out to a DRS decision could have seen the decision reversed if he had the option available to him.
Bresnan did not realise that how traumatic that success could become for him. And for the umpire too. The English bowler has now revealed that he and Tucker both received death threats for denying Tendulkar the century of centuries.
“We both got death threats, me and this umpire, we got death threats for ages after, I got them on Twitter and he (Tucker) had people writing to him to his home address and stuff, getting proper death threats going, ‘How dare you give him out? It was missing leg’,” Bresnan said during the Yorkshire Cricket: Covers Off podcast.
The was the fan following of the legend. That was the impact of his game on the mind of millions his fans who made Sachin a demi-God in India. Then cricket’s biggest ambassador ever.
And such threats cannot be dismissed as a fit of anger. History of sports has seen Monica Seles being stabbed by a deranged Steffi Graf fan when the German star was failing to overcome the challenge from the former.