Amid the rage over umpires’ call to give an extra run when a throw from Martin Guptill struck Ben Stokes’ bat in the final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, it has now come to light that the all-rounder had asked the umpires to take away the four overthrows which ultimately proved to be decisive in England’s win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
In the final over of England’s chase of 242, Stokes accidentally deflected a ball to the third man boundary, while attempting to dive for his crease in a bid to complete his second run.
After consultation with Marais Erasmus and the rest of his umpiring colleagues, Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident; two runs ran by the batsmen and a four deflected off Stokes’ willow.
England — who by then seemed to be drifting out of contention needing nine runs from three balls — were suddenly right back in the hunt for their World Cup glory needing three more from two and ended up with a tie.
James Anderson, Stokes’ Test teammate, has revealed that the all-rounder, who was hugely apologetic the very moment the incident happened, had appealed to the umpires to overturn their decision.
“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,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Anderson as telling 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, said the English bowling spearhead, adding, “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’.”
“But it’s in the rules and that’s the way it is,” he said.
However, the ICC said the umpires took decisions on the field based on their interpretation of the rules, and the cricket body would not comment on the episode.
(With inputs from IANS)