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‘Massive error’: 2019 umpire on mistake that cost Black Caps

Ben Stokes of England reacts after diving to make his ground during the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Photo / Getty

Retired umpire Marais Erasmus has opened up on two key errors that were made in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, which the Black Caps lost to England by boundary countback.

Erasmus stood out in the middle for the final time last month in New Zealand’s three-wicket defeat to Australia at Hagley Oval. But it was another more famous Black Caps’ loss that he is known for.

Erasmus and fellow umpire Kumar Dharmasena made the crucial call in the final over of the 2019 final to reward England six runs when a throw from the outfield by Martin Guptill hit Ben Stokes’ bat as he dived for his crease, sending the ball to the boundary.

However, replays later showed that the England batsmen hadn’t crossed for the second run and should have only been awarded five runs for the freak incident.

England needed three runs from the two balls, which resulted in two runs, two run outs and a tied game. They eventually won by a boundary countback when the Super Over also ended tied.

“The next morning I opened my hotel room door on my way to breakfast and Kumar opened his door at the same time and he said, ‘did you see we made a massive error?’” Erasmus told the Daily Telegraph.

“That’s when I got to know about it. But in the moment on the field, we just said six, you know, communicated to each other, ‘six, six, it’s six’ not realising that they haven’t crossed, it wasn’t picked up. That’s it.”

Umpire Marais Erasmus during the 2019 World Cup final between England and New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images

Stokes was quick to apologise to the Black Caps on the field and continued that after the match, suggesting he might have to say sorry “for the rest of my life” for the extra runs which he labelled “fluke”.

“Playing against New Zealand is always a good event, they are good lads. I will be apologising to Kane for the rest of my life … It was written in the stars to happen for us,” the England all-rounder said at the time. Long-time teammate James Anderson later claimed that Stokes asked the umpires to overturn the decision and remove the boundary from England’s score.

Erasmus told the Telegraph he actually regrets a different mistake in the final – giving Ross Taylor out LBW in the New Zealand innings. Taylor was dismissed for 15 off 31 balls when Mark Wood struck him on the pads in the 33rd over, leaving New Zealand 141 for four, though replays showed the ball would have missed the top of off stump.

“It was just too high but they had burnt their review. That was my only error in the whole seven weeks and afterwards I was so disappointed because it would have been an absolute flip had I got through the whole World Cup not making an error and that obviously impacted the game a bit because he was one of their top players.”

In looking back over his career, which included 82 tests, Erasmus ranked the Black Caps as the nicest team to umpire.

“They were always very, very respectful,” he said while adding Australia great Ricky Ponting and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene as the most challenging players.

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