Deepti Sharma Is The Latest To Be Crucified By Cricket’s Self-Appointed Godmen

Deepti Sharma recently won a game for her country by showing smart thinking on the cricket field. This act, however, reignited a long-standing debate about cricket's morality. In a nutshell, Sharma noticed that the non-striker, Charlotte Dean, was out of her crease before the ball was delivered, so she promptly ran her out. 

According to the rules, Dean was supposed to stay in her crease until the ball was delivered, so Deepti Sharma did nothing wrong.

History of 'Mankading'

This incident brought back memories of a similar incident in 1948 when Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad ran out an Australian batsman under similar circumstances. This act was met with dismay and led to the term "Mankading" being used derogatorily to describe such actions. Later, in the 1992-93 series, Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev did the same to South African Peter Kirsten, which sparked outrage among some commentators.

Both Mankad and Dev had warned the non-strikers about straying out of their crease, which is against the spirit of the game. However, their warnings were ignored, leading them to run the players out. Despite the controversy, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently legalised this mode of dismissal, hopefully removing the stigma surrounding it.

The Debate Continues

Despite the ICC's decision, some still criticised Sharma, a 25-year-old woman, for her actions. Sam Billings expressed his disapproval on Twitter, stating that no one who has played the game would find this acceptable. However, others, including R. Ashwin and Virender Sehwag, disagreed and called the criticism hogwash.

The issue is complicated by the fact that Ashwin and Sehwag are Indian, leading some to question the impartiality of their judgments. This reflects a broader problem in cricket, where certain individuals or nationalities are seen as more authoritative in determining what is fair or unfair in the game.

The Journey of Deepti Sharma

Now, let's delve deeper into the life of Deepti Bhagwan Sharma, the Indian all-rounder who found herself at the centre of this debate—despite not fitting the typical mould of a modern, trendy teenager, Deepti Sharma, at a young age, had her priorities set on her love for cricket.

Deepti Sharma's age was not a barrier to her passion. At nine, she was determined to understand the game that brought her brother, Sumit, local fame. This determination led her to persistently ask her father to let her accompany Sumit to the cricket ground. This experience, combined with a chance encounter with Hemlata Kala, a former Indian cricketer, set Deepti Sharma  on a path to representing India.

Overcoming Challenges

Despite initial setbacks, including being overlooked for state selections due to her age, Deepti's all-round skills eventually caught the attention of former Indian batter and selector Rita Dey. Dey noticed Deepti's boundless enthusiasm and mentored the teenager, helping her to develop her skills.

Originally a medium-pace bowler,Deepti Sharma  switched to spin bowling after recommendations from selectors and local coaches. This change proved fruitful, and Deepti's impressive performances in-state games and for the A side led to her international debut on 28 November 2014 against South Africa.

Ultimately, the criticism seems rooted in the fact that the Indian women's team defeated their English counterparts 3-0 in the ODI series. This loss likely fueled the desire to point fingers and criticise. However, it's important to remember that cricket has seen far worse offences, such as underarm bowling, bodyline, ball tampering, and sledging. It may be time to focus on these more significant issues instead.

What is 'Mankading'?
'Mankading' is a term used to describe a mode of dismissal in cricket where the bowler runs out the non-striking batsman who has left their crease before the ball is delivered.
Who is Deepti Sharma?
Deepti Sharma is an Indian cricketer all-rounder for the Indian women's national cricket team.
Who are some other cricketers who have 'Mankaded'?
Two notable instances of 'Mankading' were performed by Indian all-rounders Vinoo Mankad in 1948 and Kapil Dev in 1992-93.