The International Cricket Council (ICC) has finally responded to the overthrow controversy that took place during the World Cup final between England and New Zealand last weekend. England were awarded six runs when a throw from the outfield contacted the bat of Ben Stokes and got to the boundary for four overthrows. Stokes completed a second run on the team’s third-last ball of the innings before the super over.
However, a controversy emerged as many pointed out that Stokes had not crossed with batting partner Adil Rashid at the time Martin Guptill threw the ball.
The official rulebook says that the second run in progress should not have counted in England’s favor because the boundary came as a result of a throw that had already been aimed into the keeper before Stokes and Rashid managed to cross. As a result, England should have scored five runs instead of the six with which they were credited.
The ICC responded that it is against the organization’s policy to react to decisions made by the match’s umpires. An ICC spokesperson said, “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.”
Simon Taufel, a five-time ICC Umpire of the Year winner and a member of the ICC’s laws subcommittee said that the umpires made the wrong decision during the decisive match. Taufel admitted, “It’s a clear mistake…it’s an error of judgment.”
With the 2019 Cricket World Cup in the rearview mirror, cricket bettors will now look forward to the next iteration, which is set to take place in 2023. Read this article if you want to know more about betting on cricket, but England are currently listed at 3/1 to successfully defend their title four years from now. India, who will be the host nation in 2023, are early 12/5 favorites. Australia (4/1) and New Zealand (7/1) round out the top-4.
On-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus were the ones that made the controversial call that wound up benefiting England, who would go on to win the match and the World Cup, as a result. England won the match based on their superior boundary count after the teams were deadlocked following 102 overs.
ICC has taken its fair share of heat in the days since the controversy, but England’s title will stand. The official rulebook states under Law 19.8 that, “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.”
England director of cricket Ashley Giles dismissed the notion that the hiccup wound up deciding the match in favor of his side. When asked by the BBC whether the controversy mattered, Giles replied, “Not really. You could argue the last ball that (Trent) Boult bowled was a full toss on leg stump and if Stokes hadn’t just been looking for two he probably would’ve banged it out of the ground anyway. We are world champions, we have got the trophy and we intend to keep it.”
Of course, Giles is neglecting the fact that Rashid, not Stokes, would have been left on strike for the fifth ball of the over had the correct call been made.
Taufel went on to say, “There was a judgment error on the overthrow. The judgment error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That’s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw.”
Kiwi fans may feel a bit cheated given the result of the match, but they will be afforded their chance at revenge in just a couple of years. England will look to defend its first-ever Cricket World Cup title in 2023 when the tournament shifts to India.