Five-times International Cricket Council (ICC) Umpires of the Year Simon Taufel says that on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus made a clear error in the ICC World Cup final that ultimately led to hosts England beating New Zealand to win the title for the first time.
He said England benefited from a “clear mistake” in the interpretation of the umpiring laws by the officials that should not have taken place.
England matched New Zealand’s score of 241 from the final delivery of the match but earlier, in the concluding over, they were awarded six runs in bizarre circumstances.
With nine needed from three deliveries, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the deep midwicket boundary from Martin Guptill deflected off Stokes’ outstretched bat and away to the boundary for four runs and six in total was awarded by the umpires.
However, Taufel says one less run should have been awarded.
“They should have been awarded five runs, not six. It’s a clear mistake. It’s an error of judgment," Taufel told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
“In the heat of what was going on, (the umpires) thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw. Obviously, TV replays showed otherwise.”
Law 19.8 of the MCC rulebook states: “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the willful 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.”
Replays showed Stokes and Rashid had not crossed when the throw came in from Guptill.
It was clear that Stokes had just about turned at the non-striker's end to race back for the second run and Rashid was on his way down and they had not crossed when Guptill released the ball from the deep-midwicket boundary. Also, if the runs were given as five instead of six, then Stokes should have been called back to the non-striker's end and Rashid should have been the one chasing three runs off the last ball of the over bowled by Trent Boult, Taufel explained.
"They did not cross on their second run at the instant of the throw. So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker's end for the next delivery."