Off-spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma’s decision to run out Charlie Dean at the non-striker’s end, which secured a 16-run victory for India over England to complete a 3-0 series sweep at Lord’s has reignited the debate over the mode of dismissal being right in the spirit of the game.
Just as England looked to get an unbelievable win over India, thanks to Charlie’s batting efforts and her stand of 35 with Freya Davies for the final wicket, Deepti saw her venturing out of the crease at the non-striker’s end on the fourth ball of 44th over while in the delivery stride and knocked the bails off.
With the third umpire upholding the on-field decision of ‘out’, it led to boos from the crowd as India gave a winning farewell to legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami and completed a clean sweep in ODIs over England in England for the very first time.
With the debate raging over it being in the spirit of the game, many pointed out that what Deepti did was truly well and within the rules. Only last week, in the changes made by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the method of effecting a run out from the non-striker’s end was moved from Law 41 of ‘Unfair Play’ to Law 38 of ‘Run out’ section, making it no longer an unfair mode of dismissal.
Former England cricketer Lydia Greenway questioned the way Deepti ran out Charlie to seal an Indian victory. “It doesn’t feel like the right way to win a game. They (India) are allowed to do it, they’re well within their right to get a wicket that way, but I would disagree with the way that it was managed.”
She added that she would have given Charlie a warning for backing up too far before running her out from the non-striker’s end. “If I was captain of that team, I would say let’s give them a warning, and make sure that Charlie Dean is aware of what she’s doing. As youngsters growing up playing the game you’re taught to back up and Charlie was backing up, she was just focused on what was happening at the other end.”
“I don’t think she was trying to gain an unfair advantage, she was just simply focusing on what was in hand. What I would have liked to see was a warning if I was Indian captain, and I’d have been disappointed if England had done the same.”
Asked about the dismissal igniting the spirit of cricket debate, Lydia remarked, “The spirit of cricket is a really precious thing and arguably it isn’t that prominent in many other sports. It has to be looked after and protected and sometimes, when you get a rule book out, you just know whether something sits right with you or not. Regardless of whether it is in the rules or not, it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me at all.”