Bengaluru, July15: England bagged their maiden ICC Cricket World Cup title at Lord's on Sunday (Julu 14) when they defeated New Zealand in the super over, but a whole lot of bizarre rules made the win less convincing for many fans.
England certainly were the side that benefited by some rules that earned the ICC a lot of backlash after the game.
The first of the rules that came under questioning was the one that saw England getting four extra runs after a throw from a NZ fielder went for four after getting deflected off a desperately running Ben Stokes.
It was the final over the match with England needing nine off three balls. With umpire Kumara Dharmasena awarding six runs to England because of that deflection and overthrow, the equation became much easier for the home team with just three required in two balls. All saw how New Zealand lost their one grip on the cup from there on, thanks to another bizarre rule.
According to Law 19.8 which is related to "Overthrow or wilful act of fielder', England were not supposed to get the second single that Stokes and Adil Rashid had run which means they should get five runs and not six. In that case England would have lost by one run.
According to the law: "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."
Replay of the chaotic incident clearly showed that when the throw was released by New Zealand fielder Martin Guptill, the two batsmen hadn't yet crossed for their second run. But at the same time, the wordings of the rule also create a whole lot of confusion and it remains unclear how one settles the question over the ball hitting Stokes and going for four. There is no reference to the batsman's actions at any other point in the law book.
The second rule that is questionable is why a Super Over in the final of a World Cup? True, such entertainments are a huge hit in this era of T20 cricket but why apply the same in a 50-over game? New Zealand had lost less number of wickets in making 241 than England who were all out in reaching the score. Why weren't the Kiwis declared winners straight for a better run/wicket equation?
England were ultimate winners in terms of more boundaries scored, then what was the need for the Super Over circus? And if the Super Over too had ended up as a tie, then why not some more meaningful rule to break the tie? Even the bowl-out as had happened in the India-Pakistan match in the World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 seemed a more viable option. England won the title because they hit 26 (24+2 in super over) boundaries during their innings as opposed to New Zealand's 17 (16 +1 in super over). Nothing could have been more partial in the game in favour of the batsmen. That the Kiwis had taken 10 wickets were not counted but only England's boundaries.
Cricket was the winner on Sunday. Yet, it was the biggest loser too.