It is unusual for a match referee (albeit not on official duty) to appreciate a player staring at his opponent. But that is what happened yesterday at the Oval when former England batsman-turned International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad said he was thrilled to see S Sreesanth give night watchman James Anderson the glare when the India pace bowler dismissed his English counterpart on Day Three of the fourth and final Test on Saturday.
Anderson was sent in as nightwatchman on Day Two when Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for 175. The next day, Sreesanth bowled a fullish delivery which Anderson edged to VVS Laxman at second slip.
Broad was a guest at series' sponsors npower's lunchtime Q and A show held near the Alec Stewart gate on Sunday. "What was interesting was the dismissal of Jimmy Anderson. Sreesanth just looked at him as he walked off. He didn't say anything; didn't point at him. I thought that was brilliant cricket," Broad told his audience.
Broad's son Stuart has been one of England's stars of the series. In the second Test at Trent Bridge, he bagged a hat-trick -- the first by an Englishman against India. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar were his victims on July 30. IT'S VINDALOO STU, roared a tabloid headline with a photograph of the fast bowlers with arms stretched horizontally.
Doubtless, Stuart is a maverick, something his father does not mind. "Stuart is a character and he has the passion of the game from me," Broad Sr remarked.
Elaborating on the Sreesanth glare, Broad said: "I love to see that. Everyone loves to see something in the game that they can talk about. If you had a completely quiet day with nothing going on, you would not have anything to discuss at the end of the day. I love to see characters out on the field of play."