Controversial rule that cost NZ the World Cup to be reviewed

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Cricket,
Publish Date
Saturday, 20 July 2019, 11:23AM

The overthrows law that played a significant part in the Black Caps' loss to England in the Cricket World Cup will be reviewed by the sport's lawmakers.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owner of Lord's and the guardian of the laws of the game, is planning on reviewing the controversial rule, reports The Times.

England were erroneously given an extra run in one of the key moments of the final, when umpires Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena awarded the eventual winners six overthrows after failing to spot that Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid had not crossed for a second run.

The mistake ultimately cost New Zealand who lost the final by zero runs, with England being crowned champions for having scored more boundaries in their innings.

Former leading umpire Simon Taufel pointed out the error after the match, saying England should have been awarded five runs instead of six.

Taufel, who was named ICC umpire of the year every year between 2004 and 2008, defended the officiating umpires but says they got it wrong.

"There was a judgment error on the overthrow," he told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

"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."

Ben Stokes stops running after the ball is deflected by him (but luckily it goes for six overthrows) in the final moments of the Cricket World Cup final. Photo / Photosport
Ben Stokes stops running after the ball is deflected by him (but luckily it goes for six overthrows) in the final moments of the Cricket World Cup final. Photo / Photosport

The ICC responded to the issue, stating that it was against its policy to react on decisions taken by umpires.

"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," an ICC spokesperson told foxsports.com.au.

Taufel, who stood in the 2011 World Cup final, knows just how many things the umpires had to consider with every ball.

"In this particular case, the umpires have got a lot on their plate, because like every ball, they've had to watch the batsmen complete the first run, they've had to watch the ball being fielded, to understand how it's in play, whether the fielder's done the right thing," he explained.

"Then they've got to look to see when the ball is released, in case there is an overthrow. And that happens every delivery of the game. And then they've got to go back to see where the two batsmen are.

"They've then got to follow on and see what happens after that, whether there is a run-out, whether there's an 'obstructing the field', whether the ball is taken fairly. There's multitudes of decisions to be taken off the one delivery. What's unfortunate is that people think that umpiring is just about outs and not outs. They forget we make thousands of decisions every match."

He said "it's unfortunate that there was a judgment error on the timing of the release of the ball and where the batsmen were".

"They did not cross on their second run, at the instant of the throw. So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs, and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker's end for the next delivery," he added.

Taufel says it's unfair to say the cup was decided by that one event. "There's a lot of 'what ifs' and 'what should bes' and 'what could bes' that happen off those 600-plus deliveries. That's the nature of sport."

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