Umpire Kumar Dharmasena has admitted making a crucial “judgmental error” in the last over of England’s victory over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final earlier this month.
England, who were crowned winners after a tie forced the match to a Super Over, were awarded six runs in the final over of their 50 when Martin Guptill’s throw deflected off Ben Stokes’ bat and ran away to the boundary for four further runs.
Dharmasena spoke to square-leg umpire Marais Erasmus before awarding a total of six runs, taking into account the two scored by the batsmen running between wickets and the boundary four.
The incident proved decisive as England went on to match New Zealand’s total of 241 in their regulation innings, before the match was decided by a thrilling Super Over.
But Dharmasena has since conceded he should have awarded five runs to England as batsmen Stokes and Adil Rashid had not crossed for the second run when Guptill’s throw initially came in from the boundary.
“It’s easy for people to comment after seeing TV replays,” Dharmasena told the Sunday Times.
“I agree that there was a judgmental error when I see it on TV replays now. But we did not have the luxury of TV replays at the ground, and I will never regret the decision I made.
“I did consult the leg umpire [Erasmus] through the communication system which is heard by all other umpires and the match referee.
“While they cannot check TV replays, they all confirmed that the batsmen have completed the second run. This is when I made my decision.
“Besides, the ICC praised me for the decision I made at that time.”
The on-field decision left England needing three runs off their final two deliveries to win the World Cup when that target should have been four.
Crucially, Stokes kept the strike for the final two balls – scoring one off each to square the match – but it should have been Rashid facing the penultimate ball of the innings.