England all-rounder Ben Stokes has cleared the air about that controversial ‘six’ in the final over, saying he hadn’t told the umpires to cancel the four runs awarded from the overthrow.
“I saw all of that. I was thinking to myself, did I say that? But hand on heart, I did not go up to the umpires and say something like that to the umpires. I went straight to Tom Latham and said ‘Mate, I am so sorry’, looked over to Kane (Williamson) and said ‘I’m sorry’,” he said in the latest episode of BBC podcast Tuffers and Vaughan.
Stokes’ England teammate James Anderson had earlier claimed that the all-rounder had asked for the four overthrow runs to be cancelled. After the final, the MCC is said to be considering a review of the rule.
Stokes spoke of how he had watched the 50th over of the England inning multiple times and though he knew what would happen it was “nervewracking to watch”. He also said that his first emotion after the World Cup was a ‘comedown’.
Stokes also explained how he played the final over and what he was thinking:
First, second ball: Stokes said he had decided he would face every ball of the over, and then the first two balls were dots with him failing to get the ball away.
Third ball: Stokes played a sweep shot for six and admitted that he had decided he would play it before the ball was bowled. “I’ve never played a sweep shot off a seamer before so I’ve no idea why I chose to play that shot…I just decided I’m going to sweep this. I’ve faced Trent (Boult) a lot of times at the end of innings and when he misses his yorkers it’s a full toss,” he said.
Fourth ball – the controversial ‘six’: “That’s obviously been a big talking point. Don’t think there’s much to say. If you do that a thousand times again it’s not going to happen. Martin Guptill threw the ball in from 70 yards near the boundary and its managed to hit my bat off a full dive and go to the boundary. it’s a freak, freak accident,” he said.
Fifth ball: – Stokes said he was trying to hit the ball over cover and “didn’t really plan to go for the second run”. He said that he expected Boult to throw the ball to his end but instead took off the bails to run out Adil Rashid.
Last ball: “I told Woody (Mark Wood), get your skates on, we’re going to run here,” Stokes said. He said that was the only stage he thought of the stage that the team was at.
“Before that, it was just try and get as many runs as you can. But here, it was if I get out – in terms of if I hit one in the air and am out – then we lose. We don’t win the World Cup,” he said.
However, Wood was run out trying to get the second run and the scores were tied. England and New Zealand were then tied at the end of the Super Over and England was awarded the trophy because they had hit more boundaries in their 50 overs.
Stokes said he didn’t regret his decision to not go for the big hit off the last ball.
“When I look back at the moment at the end of my career, I will be happy with the decision because I had decided to hit it along the ground and run,” he said.