In a nail-biting final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, England defeated New Zealand in a game which stretched to a super over thriller after both the team tied at 241 at the end of their respective innings. In the super over too, both the teams tied at a score of 15 each but ICC rules mandated victory for the English Cricket team and they lifted their maiden world cup after a 44 year period.
According to the rules by ICC, if the scores level in the super over the team which had scored a higher number of boundaries in the innings and super over combined takes the match. In the match, the new world champions had 22 fours and two sixes compared to just 16 by runner- up, New Zealand.
“Both the teams showed a lot of fight. It had to go down to the last ball, and then the last ball of the next little match, but a great match all round,” losing Captain Kane Williamson said.
The magnanimity of the Kiwi captain aside, the rules through which England was declared a winner leaves a lot to be desired. New Zealand dominated the game at every point, even in the super over but they ended up being on the losing side because the ‘rules’ take into account the arbitrary number of boundaries. The number of boundaries does not make any difference in the overall score even then it did end up deciding the fate of the cricket world cup.
Let us have a look at another controversial ICC rule for context. As controversial as Duckworth-Lewis formula is, it still puts greater emphasis on the number of wickets unlike the ‘super-over tie’ scenario, as we witnessed yesterday, which seems completely arbitrary. As far as the wickets are concerned, New Zealand came on top in that department as well. While New Zealand lost only 8 wickets (excluding the super over) in its inning, the English were all out. Despite this overall performance by the Kiwis, the loss seems sheer dumb luck rather than a metric of performance.
The absurdity of the ICC rule did not go unnoticed. Even the former Kiwi players showed their displeasure over the unfortunate loss.
— Stephen Fleming (@SPFleming7) July 14, 2019
Nice work @ICC … you are a joke!!!
— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) July 14, 2019
English cricketer Eoin Morgan stated: “There was a lot in that game, jeez. I’d like to commiserate Kane and his team. The fight that they show is worth aspiring to. The example that they lead is hugely commendable to him and his team. It was a very hard-fought game.”
Both England and New Zealand cricket team displayed the cricketing spirit in the truest sense in the final match. However, the ICC rules left a sour taste for cricket fans around the world. Many fans called out ICC for the lopsided rule which bases the result of a tied super over on the number of boundaries.
Former Australian Cricketer, Stuart MacGill putting his displeasure on the micro blogging platform Twitter said “Boundaries win the World Cup? Lovers of cricket turn up for wickets (ENG 10-241, NZ 8-241) AND runs. I love both of these teams but am feeling extremely dissatisfied despite such an amazing match. Shame on all media who fail to highlight the fact that this was a tie. BOOOOOO”
Boundaries win the World Cup? Lovers of cricket turn up for wickets (ENG 10-241, NZ 8-241) AND runs. I love both of these teams but am feeling extremely dissatisfied despite such an amazing match. Shame on all media who fail to highlight the fact that this was a tie. BOOOOOO
— stu macgill (@scgmacgill) July 14, 2019
Former England Skipper Michael Vaughan also put forward his views on the world cup finale. He tweeted “Neither Team deserved to lose that .. What a day for Cricket .. that is how it inspire a new generation of cricketers .. #CWC19”
Neither Team deserved to lose that .. What a day for Cricket .. that is how it inspire a new generation of cricketers .. #CWC19
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 14, 2019
Many fans also pointed out the flawed rule to take boundaries scored as the basis to break the tie and questioned whether total wickets lost in the match holds more weight than the boundaries scored.
@ICC need to give this rule a serious thought! Super over is just a myth otherwise.
— Himani Chandna (@ChandnaHimani) July 14, 2019
Many fans looking at the performance of both the teams in the final match also called for them to be declared as joint winners.
Cricket statistician, Rajneesh Gupta tweeted “Never been an admirer of this boundaries count thing to decide a tie in the Super-Over. A shared trophy would have been a better result as neither side deserved to end as a loser.”
Never been an admirer of this boundaries count thing to decide a tie in the Super-Over.
A shared trophy would have been a better result as neither side deserved to end as a loser. #CWC19Final #ENGvsNZ #ENGvNZ
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) July 14, 2019
The sentiment that the thrilling final of the World Cup was anti-climatic is shared by many. ICC must address this arbitrary rule to ensure this sort of scenario does not play out in future games.