How They Should’ve Settled The World Cup Final

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.

Bowl out

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)

Super Sixer

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.

Catching practice

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.

100 balls

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.

Mojo Wellington



  • either a Super Coin Toss or an Ultra Cricket Trivia Quiz would have left everyone feeling satisfied at the result

  • How about a mascot race round the perimeter of Lords a’ la the T20 finals day? No matter who won, we’d all be going home laughing!

  • The final should have been decided by alphabetical order. It’s the only fair way of doing it. England therefore would’ve won.

    The advantage of this system is that it helps minnows like Afghanistan whilst harming minnows like Zimbabwe.

    • I agree with you. It feels odd that people are saying England deserve the trophy because they were the best team, considering they lost three matches!

      • The Canary Yellows begin with an O not an A. Ozzzztralia, Therefore they wouldn’t unduly benefit from the watertight alphabetical method.

  • Once the Super Over had been tied, the trophy should simply have been shared. There is no criteria that could be used relating to the match that could possibly provide any degree of satisfaction that it had resulted in a legitimate distinction between winning and losing a world cup.

    To have relied on previous performances (head to head or group ranking) would render that magnificent final meaningless.

    I understand the thirst to have winners and losers in sport, but in an exceptional situation – a dead-heat in a horse-race of olympic final – there is no better solution than to share the prize.

    • Bob – I replied to you but in the wrong place. See James Morgan 1.48pm

    • I think Bob is right. And sharing the trophy would’ve presented cricket in a wonderful light for all those newcomers watching on C4. Seems so sporting.

  • Ties in the future should be decided by a game of Subbuteo Table Cricket.

  • Get several sets of stocks and have a custard pie throwing contest at the management of the host board. Ten points for Graves or Harrison down to one for Hollins or Patel.

  • These are the Super Over rules that are used in other tournaments such as the IPL. So I have no problem with them. Perhaps it will be changed like the golden goal rule in football.

    How about the one stump bowl off if a Super Over is tied?

    Are the Super Overs only used in some ODI’s such as finals?

  • Wickets lost doesn’t decide tied ODIs normally – it’s simply a tie. Just keep playing super overs until there’s a result – I suspect those setting the competition rules simply never thought that the super over would also end in a tie.

  • Total runs scored divided by the number of wickets lost. This would give you a runs/wicket figure with the highest the winner. This brings the efforts both batsmen and bowlers into the result. …..Or continuous super overs until one team is in front, however, batsmen must turn out in batting order as they played in the 50 overs and retire after each super over, 1&2 in the first over, 3&4 next etc…Bowlers only allowed one over each.This has the potential to involve all players in both teams in achieving a result.

  • May as well say the winners are the team with the dirtiest trousers. This is getting daft now. Look it’s over England have “won”. Yes we can all agree this needs changing before the next WC, but let’s move on please.
    Much more important is the downgrading of the domestic 50 over from next year to out grounds, wonder what all the potential new supporters gained from England’s performance will think of that, and typical of ECB incompetence. And I suppose International cricket will go back behind the Sky pay wall despite about 6 million viewers on Ch. 4

  • They should just add overs 1 at a time with the same wickets. Ie if you are all out you don’t get an extra over. If you were 4 down you can use any of your last six. 9 down then you bat with the tail. You stop getting balls one you are all out. Check each over for a winner if both teams are all out and the scores are tied then it’s the top team into the finals.

    Either that or highest placed team into the final just wins on a tied score at the end of 50. But don’t have a tie break system that can easily end up tied itself then resort to a farcical criteria. Performance over the tournament should be the number one criteria. So on that front England’s win was fair.

    Of course the kiwis were probably robbed by the lucky 4 overthrows but that is just the game.


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