Retired Australian umpire Simon Taufel has weighed in on the controversial overthrow that may have just won England its maiden World Cup title at Lord's on Sunday.
Taufel confirmed that England should have been awarded five runs and not six as it was in the World Cup final, which the host went on to win on account of boundaries, after the regulation match and the Super Over ended in a tie.
"It's unfortunate that there was a judgment error on the timing of the release of the ball and where the batsmen were. They did not cross on their second run, at the instant of the throw. So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs, and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker's end for the next delivery," Taufel told The Age .
Seeking its first World Cup final victory, England was set a target of 242 by New Zealand and found itself needing nine runs from the final three balls of its regulation 50 overs. On the third ball of the last over, Ben Stokes struck Trent Boult into the deep. The batsmen scurried across for a second run.
That's when a throw from Martin Guptill deflected off Stokes' bat as he dived to make it into the crease. The ball raced to the boundary and the umpires awarded England six runs in total.
Taufel's observation reflects the rule of play according to Law 19.8 of the MCC.
"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," the law says.
Taufel has officiated 174 ODIs, 74 Tests and 34 T20Is, including the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka. While pointing out the error in the decision, he was also quick to defend umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus who now find themselves in the eye of the storm.
"We're not perfect. You've got the best two umpires in the elite panel doing the final. They're doing their best like the other two teams are. This is just part of the game," he said.
"I think it's unfair to say that the World Cup was decided by that one event. There's a lot of 'what ifs' and 'what should bes' and 'what could bes' that happen off those 600-plus deliveries. That's the nature of sport.”
- Reactions to the Eng vs NZ Final -
Former players have criticised ICC's boundary rule that decided the World Cup title in England’s favour on Sunday. Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Scott Styris and Dean Jones were among the many who expressed disappointment with the result of the final.
Gambhir slammed the boundary rule in a tweet and said the game should have been a tie.
“Don’t understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC. Should have been a tie. I want to congratulate both @BLACKCAPS & @englandcricket on playing out a nail biting Final,” Gambhir wrote.
Yuvraj Singh shared the sentiment disagreeing with the ICC rule of deciding the World Cup winner on boundary count.
“I don’t agree with that rule ! But rules are rules congratulations to England on finally winning the World Cup, my heart goes out for the kiwis they fought till the end. Great game an epic final !!!! #CWC19Final,” he wrote.
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris called ICC a joke.
“Nice work @ICC ... you are a joke!!!,” he wrote.
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones also described the ICC rule as unfair.
“The DL system is actually based on runs and wickets lost... yet the Final result is only based on Boundaries hit? Not fair in my opinion. Must have been great to watch!,” he wrote.
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