Harmanpreet was answering questions about his bowler’s burnout Deepti Sharma at the non-attacking end to claim Charlie’s crucial wicket Deanafter the batter has backed off too far, and end England17 rounds less than the target of 170 in the third and final ODI here on Saturday.
Battling at number nine, Dean had staged a spectacular recovery with a 47 bout and shared a 35-point stand with No.11 Freya Davies to put England within target range after the hosts slipped to 65-for-7 then 103 for 8 .
“Today, whatever we did, I don’t think it was a crime,” harmanpreet said at the post-match press conference.
“It’s part of the game and it’s an ICC rule and I think we just have to support our player. I’m actually very happy that she’s aware of that, and the hitter she’s taking too long, I think. I don’t think she did anything wrong and we just have to support her.”
The Indian skipper, who was named Player of the Series, disagreed that controversy had tarnished the legendary Jhulan Goswami’s farewell match.
“I don’t think so, because as I said I don’t think we committed any crime. I don’t think we need to talk about it because the first nine wickets were also very important and everything so people were working hard.
“It was a total that could be chased, but the way our bowlers played and the whole team put in the effort, there was a lot to celebrate other than just talking about the last wicket.”
Harmanpreet was annoyed by the line of questions during the presentation ceremony, when the presenter continued to harp on, instead of the Indian team’s historic series triumph which was built on the back of a formidable full display .
“Well, to be honest, I thought you would ask about the nine wickets, which wasn’t easy to take as well. It’s part of the game. I don’t think we’ve done anything new. It shows your awareness, what hitters are doing,” Harmanpreet said.
“I will support my players, she didn’t do anything outside of the rules. After the first game we discussed, we really wanted to do well, we have that potential. We want to continue that kind of cricket.”
At the post-match presser, she also highlighted how India suffered when Smriti Mandhana was given in the third game of their T20I series, which England won 2-1, despite the ball touching the ground after Sophie Eclestone went to get the plug.
Very recently, only the ICC reiterated that the dismissal was completely legitimate, moving it from “foul play” to “exhaustion”.
MCC Law 41.16.1 states, “If the non-striker is out of bounds at any time from the time the ball comes into play until the time the bowler would normally have released the ball, the no – the striker is likely to be exhausted.”
Weighing in on the race, the senior English fashion designer Kate Crosswho grabbed 4/26 with the ball, said this type of return will always divide opinion.
“I think it’s a rejection that’s always going to divide opinion. That’s all there is to say about it: some people are going to like it, some people aren’t.
“Deepti chose to fire Charlie Dean this way. I’m more disappointed for Charlie Dean that she couldn’t get a fifty at Lord’s today because she looked like she was ready to,” Cross said.
“If we look at the real positives, then maybe that’s the only way they could have gotten Deano out today.
“Losing any cricket match is disappointing. Ultimately it’s Deepti’s choice how she does it, and we lost that cricket match. What we said in the locker room , is that we didn’t lose that cricket match because of that last wicket,” Cross added.
A teary-eyed Dean, after an initial display of anger when she also threw her bat to the ground, calmed down and shook hands with the Indian players.