The Greatest One-Day International.
This is a moniker that has long belonged to the 1999 World Cup semi-final till date and very few questioned it.
And now it might be time to pass the moniker on to the 2019 World Cup final. And very few can argue with that either.
Cricket is no stranger to controversial rules deciding the outcome of a match. And every time some controversy of a significant magnitude arises, the question that usually arises is this: ‘what if that happened in a World Cup final? Would you still be alright with it?’
Well, guess what. A ridiculous rule did get exposed in the World Cup final, after all.
In a pulsating encounter on Sunday at Lord’s, England were adjudged the winners of the world Cup on the basis of their superior boundary count – 22 fours and two sixes – to New Zealand’s 16 after the epic final, and also the ensuing Super Over, ended in a tie.
“I feel there should be another super over to decide the winner, instead of considering the number of boundaries scored by both teams. Not just in a World Cup final,” batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said. “Every game is important. Like in football, when teams go into extra time, nothing else matters.”
Yes, the rules were all set before hand. But does that make it any better after the fact? This was the sort of situation that the law-makers had to take into account when drafting rules. No situation must be deemed impossible or improbable.
Having said that, what is the problem with this countback rule?
For starters, no other sport takes into account what happened in the match once the tie-break begins. Football penalty shootouts do not consider the goals scored in the match when the scores are tied after the five penalty kicks; we head to sudden death. Basketball and American Football employ multiple overtimes. Play on, till the tie is broken.
For a sport that is obsessed with making more commercial revenue, another Super Over or two is broadcast gold, surely?
Let’s take a look at what has been said about the boundary rule from pundits and stakeholders.
“It’s a very, very hollow feeling that you can play 100 overs and score the same amount of runs and still lose the game, but that’s the technicalities of sport,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters on Tuesday.
“There’s going to be many things they look at over the whole tournament – I’m sure when they were writing the rules they never expected a World Cup final to happen like that. I’m sure it’ll be reviewed (and) there’s many different ways that they’ll probably explore.”
- India vice-captain Rohit Sharma made a generic statement that quite a few rules need to be reworked. (The overthrows that went for four, for instance, needs a serious reconsideration as well). Brett Lee called for a rule change too.
- Harsha Bhogle said it was unfair to make this all about the rules because the playing conditions were agreed upon before the tournament.
- One other suggestion was to take out the extras and see who scored more runs with the bat.
- Shane Warne, among others, suggested as many Super Overs as needed to break a tie.
- The other, rather simplistic, solution would have been to declare the winner based on the league standings. Remember, that was the final tie-break for the semi-finals as well. England would have still been winners, but at least this rule would have had some precedent to it.
- One of the other suggestions floated around was the wickets that fell but that would be as unfair as the boundary count rule too, because the team that is chasing will tend to take more risks and end up losing a few more wickets in the process.
All said and done, it seems to us that once the match is a tie in regular time... nothing from those 100 overs should play a part in deciding the winner after a Super Over.
What do you think? Is there a better solution for this, even if we may not encounter such a situation again? Let us know on our social media platforms or email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.