The one and a half month journey of ICC World Cup 2019 has come to an end where the hosts England claimed their first World Cup title at Lord’s on Sunday, July 14. Although England won the title, it ended in a dramatic way where a lot of umpiring mistakes happened.
Both England and New Zealand came to the final after beating two of the favourites of the tournament. While New Zealand beat India in the first semi-finals, England registered a win over Australia. But the final saw a dramatic end. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, winner decided on the count of boundaries. But the umpiring mistake made the thing worst.
After a nail-biting game towards the end, England needed 15 runs off the final over when Kane Williamson handed over the responsibility to his most experienced bowler, Trent Boult. No runs were taken from the first two balls. Ben Stokes almost swept the third ball over deep mid-wicket for a six which made the equation to 9 off 3 balls.
Stokes then hit the fourth ball towards mid-wicket and decided to take two runs. Martin Guptill threw the ball towards the striker’s end. Stokes went for a desperate dive to save his wicket and tried to reach the crease with the bat. Surprisingly, Guptill’s throw hit Stokes’ bat and went past short fine leg where no one was present to the field. The ball went for a boundary and 6 runs were given which made the equation 3 off the final 2 balls.
It was now on the umpires. Although they didn’t have a great outing. After consulting with the other umpire, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the epic incident which made England believe in luck as well as giving them the hope o winning the title. 2 more runs came which took the game in a super over and the, unfortunately, the super over was also tied.
However, England won the title as they hit more boundaries than New Zealand. According to the law, the team who hit more boundaries will win the title.
But that was not the end. After the game, the controversy took place regarding the decision of the umpire while giving six runs to England.
According to the law: “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”
However, the review of the footage shows that at the moment Martin Guptill released the ball, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid, had not yet crossed for their second run. According to Law 19.8, that England’s second run should not be counted, which mean they should give five runs, not six. However, there is no reference in the law over batsman’s actions at any other point.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been approached for the clarification of the incident. In a crucial game like final, this umpiring mistake certainly cost New Zealand their maiden title.
Meanwhile, a former International umpire and the member of the committee, Simon Taufel, claimed the incident as a “clear mistake”. Taufel said that the on-field umpires made ‘an error of judgment’ by giving England six runs instead of five kept Stokes on strike and gave England hope of a win.
Australian Simon Taufel, a member of the MCC laws sub-committee and a five-time winner of the ICC’s Umpire of the Year award, commented, “They (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six.” “It’s a clear mistake … it’s an error of judgment,” Taufel said to foxsports.com.au on Monday.
However, Taufel backed the officials, saying, “In the heat of what was going on, they thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw.”
Although he praised the umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus as “the best of the best” as they were umpiring the crucial final of World Cup. “The difficulty you (umpires) have here is you’ve got to watch batsmen completing runs, then change focus and watch for the ball being picked up, and watch for the release (of the throw),” he said. “You also have to watch where the batsmen are at that exact moment.”
However, the former umpire said the incident should not be viewed as its costing New Zealand the win. “It’s unfair on England, New Zealand and the umpires involved to say it decided the outcome,” Taufel added.
“It was a shame that the ball hit Stokes’ bat, but I just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that,” said Williamson after the game. “Unfortunately that sort of thing happens from time to time. It’s a part of the game that we play. I don’t wish to nitpick, just hope it never happens in such moments ever again,” the disappointed captain further added.