The talk surrounding the six overthrows in the final of the 2019 World Cup between England and New Zealand refuses to die down. The reason for the same is obvious. Quite a number of quarters believe that the result could have been very different had the umpires not awarded Ben Stokes six runs. With nine runs needed from the last three balls, England scored six from the third-last ball in a bizarre fashion.
A throw from Martin Guptill accidentally hit the outstretched bat of a diving Ben Stokes, sending the ball to the boundary. Ben Stokes was then awarded six overthrows — four for the resulting boundary and two for taking the double. Those six overthrows helped England tie the game as they finished on 241, the same number of runs scored by New Zealand. The super overs also ended in a tie as both the teams scored 15.
England were handed the World Cup over New Zealand on the virtue of hitting more number of boundaries. Since the conclusion of the game, those six overthrows have become a major point of discussion. The umpires awarded six as Stokes and Adil Rashid were returning for their second run when the overthrow was made. But according to Law 19.8, extra runs are only awarded if the batsmen have crossed when the ball is thrown.
In the wake of the game, the cricketing world was divided over whether the umpires were right to hand England six runs and not five. Amidst all those debates, England pacer James Anderson sensationally said that Stokes wanted the umpires to not award the extra four runs.
“The etiquette in cricket is if the ball is thrown at the stumps and it hits you and goes into a gap in the field you don’t run,” Anderson told the BBC’s Tailenders podcast.
“But if it goes to the boundary, in the rules it’s four and you can’t do anything about it. I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, ‘Can you take that four runs off. We don’t want it’,” he added.
However, Kumar Dharmasena, who was officiating in the game, has denied the claims. The Sri Lankan, who awarded those six runs, made it clear that Stokes did not make any such proposal. Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dharmasena did admit that he made an umpiring error but rubbished the reports of Stokes’ proposal.