Making the most sensational World Cup final controversial, just for an extra run, is sad indeed


Salahuddin Haider

What a final it was. The 12th edition of the cricket World Cup of 2019 was historic in more than one ways. It was nerve-shattering, nail-biting, going into Super Over for the first time in 44 years, and then finishing in the 101st Over turned it the most memorable of all such mega events, played in different parts of the world so far. It was like a 1000-pounder bomb exploding at the game’s battlefield.
Tremendous was the final, erasing the boring memories from the minds of cricket fans who seemed disappointed by the two one-sided semi-finals. But here was a game, that kept the audience, buying ticket for an extravagant 16,000 pounds sterling or 20,000 US dollars as equivalent.
England was victorious finally after losing three finals before, the last one in 1992 against Pakistan at Melbourne. Luck smiled on them after long, long wait of over four decades. That must be, and in fact was agonizing. But luck favours the brave. England, the place where cricket was born, kept pursuing its objective, and were finally rewarded on July 14 at Lords, the Sunday really was a great day for Eoin Morgan and his team mates. They began as favourites, a vast majority of cricket lovers, cricketers of repute of yesteryears, betting on them, and it seemed they had already half won it, bundling out New Zealand, playing their second semi-final, for 240 which looked paltry, keeping view the mighty batting power house of England, They had an array of stroke players, pinch hitters, and brilliant bowling side. Kiwis captain Ken Williamson, winning the toss, rightly decided the first use of the wicket, expecting to pile a mountain of runs.
But Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Woakes, Ben Stokes, were known for their pace fury, swing and seam that really was troublesome for the Kiwis, Even Ken Williamson aand Ross Taylor could stay at the wicket for what could aptly be described as “token resistence” But hats off to New Zealanders, they began well, drawing the first blood quite early, 23 for one, and then rescue operation began, but Kiwis bowlers just were right on the mark, denying their powerful rivals a free hand, England kept struggling, scoring just 41 runs in 16.1 overs, which had raised hopes high for the Kiwis, and then came tie. A super over was allowed.
England batting first registered 15 on board and since the ball had rolled out to the fence because of an overthrow, but whether the England batsmen ran the second run short, I could not notice on Future TV, although I was watching the match, neither was it mentioned even in passing reference by colleague Khurram Tufaill, or the Anchor person Azfar Khanzada), Any , it was given as six. ICC rule clearly stated that,. The throw was flimsy, none tried to stop, and it final touched the fence.
The reply from New Zealand was equally brilliant, Neesham hitting a majestic over, into the crowd, but them Guptil, failure throughout the tournament like Fakhr Zaman of Pakistan, was left with just one ball to face, he completed the first, and ran for second, but failed to cover the ground, and ran himself out, missing the crease by miles so to say. In all fairness, like Gary Sobers said, the Trophy after the tie, should have been allowed to share, two years each for the two finalists. There was no room for super over. In hockey world cups, and Olympics sharing a trophy is the norm.
England deserved all congratulations, felicitations coming from world over, but a stupid statement and that too from an umpire of repute like Simon Taufel, that England should have been given runs and not six. He forgot the ICC rules that, batsmen running single or two, and overthrow touches the boundary line, has to be given 4 plus the runs the batsmen made. In this case the Englishmen ha ran two and the boundary from overthrow was rightly registered as 6 runs for them.
Well The Cup is over, It is now England’s prized possession but the match was really very very memorable. Now the New Zealand coach Gary Stead wants the rule to be reviewed, describing the match as “hollow final”, This was surely in bad taste for Kiwis captain Ken Williamson had congratulated the rivals for fully deserving the win.
A controversy generated later by a reputed umpire . Some people feel that both umpires should have consulted, and if a doubt could have occurred in their minds, they must automatically gone to third umpire, but the decision to declare England winner. I said in comments on website TV interview that neither England, nor NewZealand won. Cricket and luck were the real victors. Well England has won, no point in arguing now, The winner deserved felciitations, like done by Kiwis captain.