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Monday, July 15, 2019

ICC Cricket World Cup-2019 Final: The Ultimate Thriller Where England Become New World Champions As Per Rules!

Photo: espncricinfo.com
Very rarely you get to watch such a thrilling one-day encounter, an ICC Cricket World Cup final at that! Further, it a was low scoring game where New Zealand won the toss and naturally elected to bat, and struggled and struggled and stuttered to get to a score of 240 in full fifty overs which never looked like a winning total a la the  hype created over the so-called 300+  pitches of the world event. However, in light of the semi final match against India when NZ gave a target of just 239 runs and won it, plus the pressures of a World Cup final the target of 241 for England was a challenging one on a pitch that was termed as ‘tricky’ by confused commentators. The essence of the game as was felt by all cricket lovers was that none of the teams was willing to give away an inch. It was, throughout the entire duration of the match, an outstanding display of seam bowling and super class fielding by both England and New Zealand. Even neutral fans were hooked as the probable winners changed every minute till the last ball of the 100th over and then the Super Over. For the first time in the history of world cricket we had witnessed a tied match in 100 overs and also a tied match in the deciding Super Over. But one team had to win to lift the coveted trophy, and so the rules regarding maximum boundaries hit by a team in their innings and the super over were applied. And, as per those rules England was declared the new World Cricket Champions.

A debate is still raging on all over the globe on the fairness of the rules. Well, when rules are being framed scepticism and opposition should come then and there, and not after the set rules were applied. The very Super Over rule was actually more apt for T20 tournaments and for IPL. The revellers for the shortest format never uttered a word when such rules were set by the ICC. Now all are saying NZ has been done a great injustice or that there should have been joint winners. In my view, both teams had their bits of luck and chances to win the match. England needed 3 runs from 2 balls in the 100th over which is considered cakewalk in the modern world of cricket, but could only tie. New Zealand also needed 3 runs from 2 balls in the super over, and could only tie. Hence, what was wrong in applying the set rules? In all instances when teams win by 1 run or 1 wicket similar painful thoughts always haunt you, particularly when it’s your favourite team that suffers such a fate. On a day one team becomes the winner, and there is no question of justice or injustice being done. It is also common to see sixes cut off by splendid catches on the boundary line or crossing the boundary after catching it successfully, and also the overthrows going to the boundary.


Whereas no team in this incredible final encounter deserved to lose England did become the Champions thanks to their nerve and brilliance, and therefore nobody should grudge their celebrations. The intensely competitive fight by the New Zealanders will remain in public memory for a long time, and the team must surge ahead for the ultimate glory in coming years. It’s not for nothing that Ken Williamson was declared the Player of the Tournament. India’s Rohit Sharma made an unbelievable record of 5 tons in a single World Cup, but couldn't go ahead to make his team win the games that mattered finally. These are all part of this beautiful game of cricket. Last thought is that the ICC should not mix up rules for all formats and should emphatically separate the ‘populist’ T20 format from the classic formats of Tests and ODIs. 

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