England finally managed to uplift the curse of cricket deities by winning their first ever World Cup at Lord’s against New Zealand in a nerve-wrecking final replete with so many twists and turns – that it started to feel like a mass hyperventilation exercise after a point.
The victory by the never-seen-before margin based on ‘boundaries scored’ came after England and New Zealand were tied at the end of their respective 50 over innings and a penalty shootout-style super over also failed to separate them.
England’s magnificent stint this world cup notwithstanding, the fact that the hosts’ 24 boundaries compared to the Kiwi’s 17 was what clinched England’s victory however, has created an uproar in the cricket fraternity.
Fans, veterans and cricketers have unanimously criticised it and said that the Boundary Count rule is an unfair basis to determine the final of a World Cup.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma is the latest to join this outcry, signaling that there is an urgent need to revamp certain rules of cricket that, in this case, came at the heavy expense of New Zealand’s World Cup campaign.
In a tweet, Sharma said, “Some rules in cricket definitely needs a serious look in.”
Some rules in cricket definitely needs a serious look in.— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) July 15, 2019
Not just him, but several other famous cricketing personalities, along with thousands of fans have expressed their disappointment in the arbitrary nature of the rules that sealed the fate of World Cup:
At the end of the day T20 is the winner. Otherwise this silly boundary rule would have never happened . They have to share the trophy for this game. Boundary rule is not ideal. So random for the ODI format. #WC19— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) July 14, 2019
Difficult to digest this more boundary rule. Something like sudden death- continuous super overs till a result is a better solution. Understand, wanting a definite winner but sharing a trophy is better than deciding on more boundaries. Very tough on New Zealand. #EngVsNZ— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) July 14, 2019
Congratulations to England!Commiserations New Zealand.I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) July 14, 2019
I mean England had made ODI cricket all about hitting boundaries, so only fair that they won the World Cup on “boundary count” #CWC19Final #cwc19 #ENGvNZ @cricbuzz— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) July 14, 2019
So a World Cup is decided on the arbitrary ruling that boundaries are more important than wickets. Don’t ever tell me it’s not a batsman’s game. #cwc2019final— Brydon Coverdale (@brydoncoverdale) July 14, 2019
The events of the evening were as follows: New Zealand, on the verge of victory 20 minutes earlier, needed 16 to win after England’s batting in the super over to win the World Cup. Out came Neesham and Guptill. Jofra Archer was given the dubious honour of bowling, quite a compliment for the novice.
A wide was followed by a mighty six from Neesham; then a misfield and we were back in familiar territory. Three runs needed off two balls, then two from the last one. It was established that if the match was tied England would win on the relatively random basis that they had hit more boundaries in the match.
Guptill hit to midwicket. Jason Roy’s throw was far from perfect but Buttler gathered it and dived for the stumps with Guptill a yard adrift. With the rule of Boundary Count coming into play, England won.
The umpires have also come under the scanner after Ben Stoke's controversial 'overthrow six' that driveled the final to a super-over in the first place. When sStokes accidentally deflected the ball, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident, meaning that England - who were staring down the barrel suddenly found hope. 2.
The Law 19.8 which speaks about “Overthrow or wilful act of fielder” which was first pointed out by ESPNCricinfo, is being cited again and again. The law states: “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.”