Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma is in the news for being the first woman cricketer to run out the England batsman without delivering the ball. At Lord's on Saturday, she knocked off the stumps at non-striker's end when Charlie Dean was out of the crease and thus the first instance of the woman ODI ended abruptly.
Indian spinner R. Ashwin, who had also ran out England batter Jos Buttler in a similar fashion in the IPL has praised Deepti Sharma's "presence of mind" and stated that the bowler should be credited with the wicket and be given the bravery award. He may have said this in jest as the bowler is never credited for the run out wicket but his comments have not gone well with the world's highest wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan.
Speaking exclusively over the telephone from Cuttack, where he is playing the Legends League in India,legendary off-spinner Murali says, "what presence of mind ? No cricketer would play international matches if he or she has no presence of mind. I would have appreciated Deepti (Sharma) if she had given the warning to the non-striker first. It would have been in the right spirit of the game then".
"Yes, lawfully, she (Deepti Sharma) was right in running out the non-striker but that's in the law and not in the spirit of the game. The white ball game is a pressure game and in a tight situation the non-striker may have left the crease early and if this act by the non-striker is repeated, the run out is justified. Not otherwise in my opinion".
India's former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani also echoed the same views. "Where is the Bravery & presence of mind “ and a “BRAVERY AWARD” Hah !!! Sorry Ashwin, you have been a party to such Bravery in the past. Come on guys, bring back the gentleman spirit into the game".
"If the Bowler feels that the non- striker is taking advantage of backing, the right spirit is to warn him / her ( like Courtney Walsh/ Viv Richards ). If a non-striker continues after warning then the bowler is legitimate to run him out", Kirmani added.
Rita Dey, who was a selector when Deepti Sharma started playing cricket sees no point in warning. "Law is a law! The ICC made the rule then why there are irrelevant questions ? It's (running out) fair. The batter was completely out of crease by miles before the ball gets delivered and the rule is under ICC legitimate rules. No point in questioning if it's fair or not", she said.