WE’VE ALL been through what Matt Renshaw had to on Thursday. Those times when you just have to go at that moment. Only that poor Renshaw was undergoing the agony in front of the world, that too while wearing whites. The young Australian opener’s toilet break that resulted in him being retired ill did have an impact on the first Test as it meant the visitors suddenly had two new batsmen at the crease. And it’s also resulted in an outpouring of mixed sentiments.
A bunch of former Australian cricketers stuck to their tough-as-nails attitude even in this most unfortunate of scenarios, calling Renshaw ‘soft’. Allan Border, who didn’t bother too much about Dean Jones puking his guts out during the tied Test in Chennai , said: “I hope he’s lying on the table in there half dead or I won’t be happy as a captain”. Damien Martyn tweeted with a hashtag that read ‘oldschool’ insisting that his former teammate Justin Langer “would have lost a limb and still batted on”. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, though, was more curious as to what was causing this inopportune nature’s call by asking for a Hotspot on Renshaw.
An international umpire, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told this paper that while there was no specific law for a toilet-break, it wouldn’t be easy for a batsman to get away with gamesmanship if he chose to be sly about the specifics of his loo activities. “It’s dangerous to hold up play for a batsman’s nature’s call unless it’s for a pee. A couple of minutes is fine but a ‘long call’ cannot be warranted. He’ll have a lot to answer for otherwise,” said the umpire.
Renshaw said he asked one of the umpires whether he would be retired ill or out if he were to go. He also revealed that Steve Smith wasn’t thrilled at first but then agreed that “when you need to go to the toilet, you’ve got to go to the toilet”. Renshaw didn’t make much of Border’s comments. “That’s just something he grew up with and that was his sort of mentality. Steve was good and he understands.”