Simon Taufel, who has been named ICC’s Umpire of the Year on five occasions, said an extraordinary incident yesterday saw Ben Stokes handed six runs instead of five.
However, England director of cricket Ashley Giles played down suggestions it had helped them win.
England matched New Zealand’s score of 241 from the final delivery, but would have been left one short if the umpires had followed the rules, according to Taufel.
With nine needed from three deliveries, Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the boundary deflected off Stokes’ outstretched bat and away to the boundary for four byes and six in total.
But Taufel said they should have awarded five runs because Stokes and his partner Adil Rashid had not yet crossed for their second run as New Zealand fielder Martin Guptill released the ball.
1) Ben Stokes hits the ball during the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s cricket ground yesterday, with his fellow batsman Adil Rashid pictured bottom left
2) New Zealand fielder Martin Guptill releases the ball with Stokes and Rashid having not yet crossed for their second run
3)) Stokes and Rashid have now crossed as the ball is in the air heading towards the wicket
4) Guptill’s attempt to run out Stokes backfires when the ball hits the Englishman’s bat (right)
5) The ball flies away from New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham and towards the rope
‘There was a judgement error on the overthrow,’ Taufel told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
‘The judgement error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That’s the act.
OVERTHROW OR WILFUL ACT OF FIELDER – LAW 19.8
‘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.’
‘It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw.’
Aaccording to Law 19.8, pertaining to ‘Overthrow or wilful act of fielder’, England’s second on-field run should not have counted, making it a total of five runs for the incident, not six.
With England requiring nine runs off three balls, the most inconceivable thing happened.
As Ben Stokes scampered back for a second run and dived for his crease, the ball thrown from the deep inadvertently ricocheted off his bat to the boundary.
After consulting with his colleagues, Kumar Dharmasena signalled a six – giving England a massive boost in a pivotal moment of their pursuit of 242.
6) Stokes lies prone on the floor as the ball runs away and down towards the boundary
7) New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme gives chase but canot catch up with the ball
8) England are awarded six runs after the ball went for four – after they had also run two
9) The umpire signals for six runs – a decision which has since been criticised
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.’
Asked whether it mattered to him that England had been the beneficiaries of a blunder, director of cricket Ashley Giles replied: ‘Not really. You could argue the last ball that Boult bowled was a full toss on leg stump, and if Stokes hadn’t just been looking for two he probably would’ve banged it out of the ground anyway. We are world champions. We have got the trophy and we intend to keep it.’
Immediately after the game, England captain Eoin Morgan said he wasn’t celebrating when the ball diverted from Stokes’s bat to the third-man fence: ‘It’s not something you celebrate or cheer, because that could be us on the other side of it.’
Neither the ICC, who are in charge of international cricket’s elite umpiring panel, nor MCC, who preside over the game’s laws, would comment on the subject.
He held his hands up to apologise to the New Zealand team for the one-off accident
The umpire gave England six but law suggests it should only have been five runs as Stokes and Adil Rashid had not crossed for the second run when the fielder had thrown the ball
Stokes, who was born in New Zealand, joked that he will be ‘apologising for the rest of my life’ after the incredible sequence of events that helped him score 14 runs off the final over to tie the game – and then claim a historic victory for England in the subsequent super over.
Speaking after the game, Stokes said: ‘Playing against New Zealand is always a great event to be a part of. They’re a seriously good team and they’re great lads.
‘I said to (Captain) Kane (Williamson) I’ll be apologising for that for the rest of my life!’
Captain Eoin Morgan with the World Cup and his teammates as they are photographed at the Oval today
Ben Stokes signs autographs for excited fans at the Oval today, one day after the stunning World Cup victory at Lord’s
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