Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma has been at the centre of the news cycle since she dismissed England's Charlie Dean with a run-out at the non-striker’s end to seal India's 3-0 ODI series win at Lord's. England players, media members, cricketing experts and fans have been very vocal in their criticism of the mode of dismissal, as according to them 'the spirit of cricket' was hurt despite MCC having put forth a statement in support as a legitimate mode of dismissal.
Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle took to Twitter and criticise English media over their take on the incident. Bhogle wrote a long thread expressing his views where he outlined the cultural context of this outrage. He underlined the effects of multiple historical and social factors that have come together and garnered this reaction.
Bhogle wrote, "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," he wrote in his strongly worded thread.
"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 notion that turning tracks are bad but seaming tracks are fine," he went on to write.
"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," he wrote.
"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," Bhogle wrote. "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," he reiterated.
"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," Bhogle added. "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," he concluded.