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Former ICC CEO Richardson Defends Using Boundaries to Decide World Cup Final

Cricketnext Staff |July 21, 2019, 12:13 PM IST
Former ICC CEO Richardson Defends Using Boundaries to Decide World Cup Final

The ICC World Cup 2019 final between England and New Zealand at Lord’s will be spoken about and remembered as the best final in ODI cricket, not only for the high quality cricket that was on display but also for the manner in which the contest was decided.

Hosts England eventually won their first ever men’s World Cup title because they had hit more boundaries than New Zealand and former ICC CEO Dave Richardson explained the rationale behind why that rule was implemented in the first place.

“The context of why that particular rule was put in place a few years ago goes back to when ODI cricket was criticised for becoming a bit boring. At that time, we were deciding rules for the Super Over and the suggestion was [to] look at creating something that encouraged attacking play and this was just one of the things introduced. [The thinking then was that] a tie in the Super Over would be very unlikely, so let us encourage attacking play,” Richardson told The Week.

The cricket fraternity has not minced their words when opining about how the tie in the Super Over should have been resolved but Richardson believes it is all about finding a winner and sharing the World Cup trophy did not go down well with him either.

“The bottom line is, we want matches to be as entertaining as possible. The Super Over provides that drama. There is no doubt that it is incredibly cruel to decide the game via a Super Over, but at the end it is about finding a winner. That is why people are so passionate about sport.

“Sport is all about winning and losing, and having a decisive winner in the end. I think we are unlikely to see another one like this. There was such drama, [and] such a small margin between winning and losing.”

Among the other aspects of the World Cup which did come under scrutiny though not as intensely spoken about were the pitches on offer and Richardson is just happy that the contests between bat and ball were even.

“I think pitches contributed to that (quality of cricket). Preparing pitches is not an exact science, and maybe some of the pitches were not as good for batting as some of the batsmen would have liked. But they did provide an even contest between bat and ball. And top-quality batsmen were able to show their skills.”

The former South African wicket-keeper added that he is relieved that not only did the World Cup produce some exciting contests but also allows former teammate Allan Donald to sleep a little more peacefully as he expects the 2019 World Cup final to be more talked about than the 1999 semi-final at Edgbaston.

“I think people will talk about this match more. Allan Donald (whose run-out cost South Africa the semi-final against Australia in 1999) can sleep a bit more peacefully now. The same [with] Mike Gatting, who reverse-swept to lose that match against Australia in the 1987 final.”

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