The World cup is over but fierce debates are still doing the rounds on the parameters used for declaring the final winner after tie in the regulation match and superover . And added to that the glaring umpiring errors in knockouts .
Firstly it needs to be reiterated the England was by far one of the best teams in this World cup and they deserved to win the title after an epic final but so did New Zealand in equal measure after the fight they put in the final. It is very surprising and wierd that all the teams agreed to the higher number of boundaries rule in the event of a superover tie in the final probably expecting that it will not reach that stage.
The better options that could have been exercised in this scenario could have been as under :
In the event of a superover tie, the teams should have played on with more superovers till the verdict is reached .(like sudden death in soccer)
If the above is not feasible then we can have the below sequence of options starting with the best option to the next best and so on :
- In the event of a tie in superover , the winner should have been declared on the basis of lesser number of wickets lost by the respective team in the regulation game. In this case England were all out and NewZealand lost 8 wickets ,so New Zealand winner.
- If in above case both teams have lost equal number of wickets then their head to head clash in league phase should be considered.( England won)
- If their head to head clash was a no result ,then the team higher on points table should be declared winners ( England higher on points table)
- If teams were equal on points in league table ,then their higher net run rate should be considered. (England better again) And here surely their will be a difference , if not then teams should be declared as joint winners.
We feel taking every aspect into consideration, the above parameters should have been followed instead of the boundary rule in the event of a superover tie and definitely as we have seen above , we would have arrived at a more acceptable solution to declare the winner.
Now as far as umpiring is concerned, this World cup has had its controversies and it seemed to continue in the knockouts . In the first semis 6 fielders outside 30 yard circle on Dhoni’s runout was missed by umpires. Dhoni would have been runout anyway but the no ball would have had a free hit on the next ball . Next came Jason Roy’s dismissal in the 2nd semis when he was given out with bat nowhere near the ball. In the finals , the umpire could not gauge the bounce of the pitch and gave Ross Taylor lbw and New Zealand had no reviews by then.
And finally the mother of all errors. With 9 required off 3 balls for England to win, Stokes’ hit was picked and thrown by Guptill with batsmen starting their 2nd run and not crossed. While the ball was reaching the keeper, Stokes lunged for the crease in self preservation of his wicket and in the process the ball deflected off his bat and reached the boundary behind the keeper with no fielder nearby to stop. Not Stokes’ fault by any means . The umpire signalled 6 instead of 5 which was an error as later pointed out by experienced former umpire Simon Tauffel as the batters had not crossed when Guptill threw the ball. Adil Rashid would have been on strike with 4 required off 2 balls and the Blackcaps would have fancied their chances.
Also fielding throws deflections off batsmen should be declared dead ball and no runs should be allowed immediately after such deflection. ICC needs to revisit this rule. This had definitely hit New Zealand hard in that final over and they were brutally unlucky.
Thus from the above scenarios it is clear that ICC now needs to sit together in improving umpiring standards and framing more logical and acceptable rules before big events to avoid controversial situations like the one we had in declaring the world cup winner.
On 14 July 2019 we witnessed one of the greatest ever cricket matches across formats and kudos to both England and New Zealand for the same. Pity it had to end in such controversy.
Maybe it was in England’s destiny. Their only World cup football title in 1966 was also submerged in controversy when Geoff Hurst’s header did not cross the line but goal was allowed and England finally won 4-2.
England won the World cup cricket title and New Zealand won the hearts but no one lost the match.