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Marais Erasmus: Two massive umpiring errors impacted the 2019 World Cup final result

Marais Erasmus, who was one of the on-field umpires during the 2019 World Cup final, has opened up about two errors made by the officials
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Umpire Marais Erasmus, who was one of the on-field umpires during the 2019 World Cup final, has opened up about two errors made by the officials in the summit clash between England and New Zealand.

England won the title on boundary count after the Super Over that followed the tied 50-over game ended with both teams qual on runs as well. But the result could have been different if not for a freakish incident during the 50th over of England’s run chase when an overthrow from Martin Guptill ricocheted off Ben Stokes’ bat to the boundary.

The hosts, needing 15 off the last over to win the World Cup for the first time, played out two dot balls off Trent Boult before striker Stokes whacked a slower ball towards mid-wicket, where Guptill was fielding. Guptill’s throw deflected off Stokes’ bat towards the boundary as England were awarded six runs – two for running and four overthrows.

Erasmus acknowledges that a mistake was made during the moment and that England should have been awarded five runs instead as the two batters did not cross at the moment Guptill threw the ball.

Law 19.8 in the MCC rulebook says: “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”

Replays make it clear that Stokes and Adil Rashid did not cross at the “instant of the throw”, making them eligible for only five runs. Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena were the on-field umpires during the clash, with Erasmus standing at the square leg when the incident occurred.

Erasmus told The Telegraph: “The next morning I opened my hotel room door on my way to breakfast and Kumar opened his door at the same time and he said, ‘Did you see we made a massive error?’ That’s when I got to know about it. But in the moment on the field, we just said six, you know, communicated to each other, ‘six, six, it’s six’ not realising that they haven’t crossed, it wasn’t picked up. That’s it.”

It was not the only error that he regrets from the game. Earlier, Erasmus had ruled out Ross Taylor lbw for 15. Mark Wood sent down a length ball, which was angled in from wide of the crease. Taylor shuffled but missed as the ball hit him above the knee roll. Erasmus instantly raised his finger and Taylor could not review as Guptill had earlier unsuccessfully used up the only DRS New Zealand had available. Teams were only permitted one successful review during the 2019 World Cup, the number now increasing to two.

Erasmus says, “It was just too high but they had burnt their review. That was my only error in the whole seven weeks and afterwards, I was so disappointed because it would have been an absolute flip had I got through the whole World Cup not making an error and that obviously impacted the game a bit because he was one of their top players.”

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