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Did umpiring error cost New Zealand the World Cup?

England had a moment of astonishing good fortune during the final at Lord’s

PHOTO: AFP

England had a moment of astonishing good fortune with a bonus four runs during their main innings, of the 2019 World Cup Final, when a Martin Guptill throw deflected off the bat of Ben Stokes, who was diving to make his ground.

Stokes and Adil Rashid were completing the second run, but had not crossed, when Guptill threw the ball. According to the rules, in such a case, when the ball takes a deflection the batsmen have to change ends and only the runs preceding the throw are counted.

This should have meant that England should have only scored five runs on that ball, instead of six, with Rashid facing the penultimate ball of the innings.

The relevant clause from the MCC rulebook gives clear guidance in this regard.    

Rule 19.8: Overthrow or wilful act of fielder

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.

Former ICC Umpire Simon Taufel also believes that this was a clear mistake but added that it would be unfair to term it as the deciding factor of the game.

“It’s a clear mistake … it’s an error of judgment,” Taufel told foxsports.com.au on Monday. “It’s unfair on England, New Zealand and the umpires involved to say it decided the outcome,”

Stokes, who was born in New Zealand, apologised for the incident to Kiwi captain Kane Williamson.

"In the last over when the ball hit the bat and went for four it's not exactly what you ask for," said Stokes. "I've apologised to Kane countless times about that. It's not exactly how you want to do it."

Williamson also commented on the situation by stating: “It was a shame that the ball hit Stokes’ bat, but I just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that. Unfortunately that sort of thing happens from time to time. It’s a part of the game that we play. I don’t wish to nitpick, just hope it never happens in such moments every again.”