Here’s new writer Mojo Wellington with an irreverent take on the World Cup final controversy. With the result hinging on something more obscure than GATT 24 Paragraph 5B, how else might the match have been decided? Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.
What is it with obscure regulations and cricket world cups? The rain rule in 1992, the super six points carry over in 1999, and Sunday’s super over boundaries ridiculousness. (The ICC obviously likes the word “super”).
Sporting injustice is, well, part and parcel of sport, but it does feel truly nonsensical that England were crowned champions for scoring more Chinese cuts than New Zealand. At least the weather stayed fair.
Unlike many other team sports, not all players are on the pitch at the same time in cricket, so any tie-breaker wouldn’t have quite the same cruelness (but fairness) of a football penalty shoot-out. Nothing is perfect, but how else could the tie have been settled?
Team losing fewer wickets
The way that such results used to be decided – the argument presumably being that the team with the most wickets in hand would usually have scored more runs if the innings continued. On this basis New Zealand would have been the victors.
Head to head
England beat New Zealand in the round-robin, so England win the world cup.
Net run rate
A major talking point during the group stages of the World Cup, as it may have been needed to settle the four semi-finalists. Why not use it in the final? England win.
Fair play award
The team with the best disciplinary record lifts the trophy. Jason Roy’s (understandable) outburst at Edgbaston costs his team dearly.
Four super overs
The only other time I have watched a super over was at the World T20 in Sri Lanka, which featured the hosts and New Zealand – who lost that one as well.
A one over thrash is certainly dramatic, but seems very harsh, particularly on the fielding side. Quite why there wasn’t a toss to decided which team batted first in the super over, I do not know. At least we were spared the drama of a bowler breaking down mid-over though.
Sunday’s light and weather conditions would have allowed for a four-over mini game, with bowlers allowed up to two overs each. Hopefully there would’ve been less chance of a tie in a longer contest.
In matches heavily affected by rain, county teams have been known to retire to the indoor cricket school for a bowl out. Bowlers who have spent all season failing to hit a line and length suddenly manage to find it when a caught behind (or “nick off” as seems to be the mots du jour) is taken out of the equation.
So why not send the bowlers out to knock over the stumps in front of that packed Lord’s crowd? Ideally with them having to hold the ball in the opposite hand. Imagine Jofra Archer’s left arm spin at such a crucial moment. What drama.
(And if it went to sudden death, imagine the hilarity of watching non-bowlers like Bairstow and Morgan try to hit the three pegs. Ed)
Not to be confused with the aforementioned points regulation at the 1999 World Cup. Here, six batsmen from each team must face one ball each from six bowlers from the opposition. As currently a minimum of five bowlers must trundle in during a one day international, this could be moderated to five balls or kept at six, with the option of a bowler sending down two deliveries.
Each player is flung a ball from the dog thrower. Whichever team clings on to the most catches wins the game and a curry night with Graham Gooch.
Just A Minute
Commentary captains Michael Vaughan and Jeremy Coney have to speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition, deviation or talking about their own careers. A careless mention of “’05” and England crash out.
The two tied teams return with new names to play a one hundred ball game with the option of a 10-ball super over, one hand one bounce, and double points joker powerplay.
Share the bloody thing
England only won because they copied the #brandofcricket first trademarked by New Zealand in the first place.