Prominent sports journalist Harsha Bhogle, on Friday, lambasted England media for their coverage regarding Deepti Sharma’s run-out of Charlie Dean during India Women’s third ODI against England at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The run-out, which helped India to whitewash England, has become the talking point, with the Indian all-rounder receiving massive criticism from England players and the media.

Notably, England’s last-wicket pair of Dean and Freya Davies had put on a handy partnership and took their side very close to victory. However, Deepti, after noticing that Dean was outside her crease at the non-striker’s end, stopped in her bowling stride and whipped the bails off.

The incident stirred up the spirit-of-cricket debates, with English cricketers and the media expressing their displeasure despite the MCC having termed the run-out as a legal mode of dismissal.

Upon seeing unnecessary criticism of Deepti in the English media, Bhogle said the Indian star doesn’t deserve to face any heat since she played by the laws of the game. Bhogle was also surprised that the England media didn’t question Dean for ‘gaining an illegal advantage’.

In a series of tweets, Bhogle explained why the reaction of English media had been unfair towards Deepti. He observed that England need to come out of colonial thoughts and stop wondering that whaterver they think right will be acceptable to the world.

“I find it very disturbing that a very large section of the media in England is asking questions of a girl who played by the laws of the game & none at all of another who was gaining an illegal advantage and was a habitual offender. That includes reasonable people & I think it is a cultural thing. The English thought it was wrong to do so & because they ruled over a large part of the cricket world, they told everyone it was wrong.

“The colonial domination was so powerful that few questioned it. As a result, the mindset still is that what England considers wrong should be considered wrong by the rest of the cricket world, much like the ‘line’ the Aussies say you must not cross having decided what the line should be which is fine in their culture but may not be for others. The rest of the world is no longer obligated to think the way England does and so we see what is so plainly wrong.

“So too the notions that turning tracks are bad but seaming tracks are fine. The reason I say it is cultural is that it is what they are brought up to think. They don’t think it is wrong. The problem arises and we are guilty of it too, when people sit in judgement of each other’s approach. England wants the rest of the world not to like running out batters at the non-striker’s end and have been vitriolic and abusive towards Deepti and others who have done it.

“We come hard too asking others to wake up from centuries old colonial slumber. The easiest thing is to play by the laws of the game & stop worrying about subjective interpretation of the spirit of the game, stop forcing opinions on others. The law says the non-striker must be behind the crease till the bowler’s arm is at its highest point.

“If you obey that, the game will move along smoothly. If you point fingers at others, like many in England have at Deepti, you remain open to questions asked of you. It is best if those in power, or who were in power. Stop believing that the world must move at their bidding. As in society, where judges implement the law of the land, so too in cricket. But I remain disturbed by the vitriol directed towards Deepti. She played by the laws of the game and criticism of what she did must stop,” wrote Bhogle.


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