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Journalism of Courage

Simon Taufel points out umpiring error in last over of World Cup final, ICC responds

England were awarded four overthrows plus two runs off one delivery in the last over after the ball deflected off the bat of Ben Stokes. This was a "clear mistake" and an "error of judgement" by the umpires, Taufel has said.

England’s Ben Stokes and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill after the World Cup final at Lord’s on Sunday (AP Photo)

England were awarded four overthrows plus two runs off one delivery in the last over after a throw by Martin Guptill deflected off the bat of Ben Stokes raced to the boundary ropes. This was a “clear mistake” and an “error of judgment” by the umpires, former umpire Simon Taufel said.

Taufel, who is a five-time winner of the ICC’s Umpire of the Year award, said that England should have been awarded five runs instead of six because the overthrow rule states that runs shall not be awarded if the batsmen do not cross the middle of the pitch “at the instant of the throw.”

“It’s a clear mistake … it’s an error of judgment,” Taufel told foxsports.com.au.

“In the heat of what was going on, they (umpires Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena) thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw” Taufel added.

“Obviously TV replays showed otherwise.”

The relevant clause from the MCC rulebook says:

Rule 19.8: Overthrow or wilful act of fielder

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.

Stokes had not crossed his partner when Guptill threw the ball. Therefore, not only should England have been awarded one run less than they were, it should have been Adil Rashid on strike instead of Ben Stokes when three runs were needed off the last two balls.

Following this revelation by Taufel, an ICC official was quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “The umpires take decisions on the field with their interpretation of the rules and we don’t comment on any decisions as a matter of policy.”

New Zealand were left to rue the boundary count rule a few minutes after a fortuitous, last-over overthrow came to England’s rescue. (Source: Twitter)

Meanwhile, New Zealand coach Gary Stead on Tuesday suggested the ICC World Cup rules to reviewed, while stating that he is “very, very hollow” after England were crowned the world champions based a bizarre technicality in the showpiece’ final.


“It’s a very, very hollow feeling that you can play 100 overs and score the same amount of runs and still lose the game, but that’s the technicalities of sport,” Stead was quoted by PTI as saying.

“I’m sure it’ll be reviewed (and) there are many different ways that they’ll probably explore,” he added.

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Both England and New Zealand finished on 241 in their respective 50 overs and for the first time in cricket history, a World Cup final was decided by Super Overs. However, at the end of the two Super Overs, both teams were once again tied at 15 runs but England were declared as winners on the basis of the number of boundaries scored by each side.

First published on: 15-07-2019 at 17:16 IST
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