Ben Stokes hits back at Harsha Bhogle over "culture" comment in Mankad issue

England Test captain Ben Stokes has hit back at Harsha Bhogle over the latter’s “culture” comment on the Mankad episode.
Harsha Bhogle and Ben Stokes?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
“Harsha … bringing culture into people's opinion over a Mankad?”

Charlotte Dean’s run out dismissal to Deepti Sharma in the third and final ODI between England Women and India Women at Lord’s last week continues to divide opinions. Deepti had ran Dean out for backing up at the non-striker’s end, helping India seal a 16-run win and with it, complete a 3-0 whitewash.

After varied takes in the cricketing world on the mode of dismissal, renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle offered his views, stating that “questioning” over it by a large section of the English media “is a cultural thing”, in a series of tweets on Friday, September 20.

Ben Stokes, the England Test skipper, clearly didn’t appreciate the take.

“Harsha … bringing culture into people's opinion over a Mankad?” Stokes tweeted.

Stokes further responded to Bhogle's detailed assessment, even mentioning the infamous overthrow incident from the 2019 Men's World Cup final at Lord's.

In an elaborated Twitter thread on the subject, Bhogle had tweeted: “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 and 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 is the notion 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.”