Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said Sunday’s ICC World Cup final would re-establish the tournament’s credentials and importance but the only downside was that one side had to lose in the process. Chappell, who led the Australian side in the inaugural World Cup final in 1975, said it’s easy to be critical about the Super Over but hard to come up with a ‘better solution’.
“Just as the exciting first final (Australia v West Indies) in 1975 was the game that was needed to establish World Cup credentials, Sunday’s scintillating game (England v New Zealand) was a must to emphasise the continued importance of 50-over cricket,” Chappell wrote in his column for Mid-day.
“What happened wasn’t ideal but it was the playing condition at the time and both sides knew the consequences. There has been criticism of the tie-breaker used to decide the winner but it’s easy to be critical, much harder to come up with a better solution,” he added.
Among the options suggested by Chappell were: “The result of the preliminary round match between the two sides could have decided the winner and this would’ve produced the same victor — England.
“There have been suggestions you keep playing Super Overs until someone is a clear winner. That begs the question: Do you use the same players for each Super Over? And what happens if you keep having a tie — that would eventually dilute the actual 50 over the contest. What happened wasn’t ideal but it was the playing condition at the time and both sides knew the consequences,” he questioned.
Chappell, who played in 75 Tests and 16 ODIs for Australia, called the final between England and New Zealand the ‘greatest ever World Cup final’.
“England finally wins the World Cup and New Zealand’s interminable wait continues. In the greatest World Cup final ever, fans were treated to two extra overs of cricket as the teams hand-wrestled for victory in a Super Over.
“And after all that cricket the result was then only decided on boundaries — those hit in the game and the Super Over — when England scraped over the line. As you would expect in such dramatic circumstances there was irony in the form of the game’s hero — Ben Stokes, born in New Zealand, using every ounce of his skill and energy to bring the ultimate cricket prize to England,” the 75-year-old Australian wrote.
“He (Stokes), first of all, dragged England back from the precipice of 86-4 when their captain was dismissed. In the company of Jos Buttler, Stokes added a 110 run partnership to have England believing again,” Chappell added.
The former Australian captain criticized the DRS after Ross Taylor was wrongfully given leg-before.
“Once again the flaws of the DRS were exposed when Taylor was left without a review with the ball shown to be clearly missing the stumps. It was not to be for New Zealand, a team to be admired for their tenacity and determination to extract every ounce from their skills.
“For England as a team, this was a relief after forty-four years of agony and for Stokes, the player-of-the-match award was retribution for that final T20 over against the West Indies and a moment of madness in Bristol. Here was a man to be admired for his ability to overcome serious setbacks,” Chappell wrote.