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‘We made a massive error’: Umpires on decision in last over that turned 2019 World Cup final in England’s favour


There are close games, there are very close games and then there is the 2019 ODI World Cup final. The summit clash between England and New Zealand at Lord’s would go down as perhaps the greatest ODI match of all time. Err… And the most controversial one too. So much so that even five years later, the discussions are still on and new information is coming out. The on-field umpires of that final – Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus – said they made “a massive error” during the last over of the final that, in the end, became a deciding factor.

Ben Stokes reacts during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final against England(Getty/File )

For the large part, it was just a very good cricket match minus any controversy. New Zealand batted first and scored 241/8. The match see-sawed and it finally came down to England needing 15 off the last over. Six runs came from the first three balls of Trent Boult’s last over. With 9 needed off 3 balls, England desperately needed a boundary. Boult bowled a low full toss to Ben Stokes and he heaved away but didn’t get the gap. The ball went to Martin Guptill at deep mid-wicket who collected the ball and threw towards the striking end.

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Stokes came back for the second to keep the strike. It was a tight one. He dived to reach the crease and the Guptill’s throw hit his bat and raced away to the boundary. England got four of the luckiest runs. But because they had also run two, it resulted in six runs. That is where the error was made.

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Erasmus said it should not have been six runs but five. “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 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.”

Law 19.8 of the MCC rulebook states: “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.”

Because the Stokes and Rashid hadn’t crossed when Guptill let the ball go from his hand, they had completed only one run and not two. England should have gotten five runs and not six.

If the correct call was made then the match would not have even gone to the Super Over and New Zealand would have won the World Cup in the regulation 50 overs.

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