Boundary-count rule: Cricket fraternity calls for change after NZ's World Cup heartbreak

Cricketers, current and former, shared New Zealand’s pain on losing the World Cup title on boundary countback with tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma asking for a “serious look” into the rule, which was slammed as “absurd” by several former players.

In a pulsating encounter on Sunday night at the Lord’s, England were adjudged the winners of the world Cup on the basis of their superior boundary count – 22 fours and two sixes —  to New Zealand’s 16 after the epic final, and also the ensuing Super Over, ended in a tie.

“Some rules in cricket definitely needs (sic) a serious look in,” tweeted Rohit on Monday. Rohit amassed 648 runs in the tournament, including five hundreds, before India were knocked out in the semifinal stage.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is now a parliamentarian, lambasted the ICC for the “ridiculous” rule.

“Don’t understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC. Should have been a tie. I want to congratulate both @BLACKCAPS & @englandcricket on playing out a nail biting Final,” Gambhir wrote on his twitter handle.

Gambhir’s former teammate Yuvraj Singh also disagreed with the rule.

“I don’t agree with that rule ! But rules are rules congratulations to England on finally winning the World Cup, my heart goes out for the kiwis they fought till the end. Great game an epic final !!!! #CWC19Final,” he wrote.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris called the ICC a joke.

“Nice work @ICC … You are a joke!!!,” he wrote.

Indian spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was also scathing in his criticism of the ICC rules.

“Grossly unimaginative ICC rules help #England win World Cup..Ideally it would have been better if both Eng & NZ were declared joint winners..& shared the Cup..As underdogs #NZ did more to create such an amazing result..While #Eng were expected to win hands down..Think ICC think!,” he tweeted.

“The DL system is actually based on runs and wickets lost… Yet the Final result is only based on Boundaries hit? Not fair in my opinion. Must have been great to watch!,” wrote former Australian batsman Dean Jones.

Opting to bat, New Zealand had put up a modest 241 for eight. In reply, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator.

In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes, who kept the hosts in the game with a brilliant 84 off 98 balls, and Jos Buttler made 15, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count.

Former Australian pacer Brett Lee called for a change in the rule.

“I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change,” he tweeted.

Former New Zealand cricketers were also left hugely disappointed by the ICC’s rule, describing it as “absurd” and “unfortunate”.

Former Black Caps all-rounder Dion Nash said he felt cheated after the finals.

“I feel really empty, and a bit cheated,” he was quoted as saying in stuff.Co.Nz.

“Clearly, it’s ridiculous… Really absurd. It’s about as random as tossing a coin.”

Nash, however, said there was no point complaining as the rules were laid down much before the tournament.

“But you also have to look at it from the (view of the) people setting the rules. I mean who thinks it’s going to be a draw, and then you draw in the Super Over? What are the chances?

“You can’t complain, it was done at the start of the tournament. But I think that’s probably indicative of where the game’s mindset’s at. Why not credit the guys who took the most wickets?

“The real measure that was used for generations was least amount of wickets lost. So why have we changed that?”

Kyle Mills, who was part of the 2015 team which lost its first-ever World Cup final to Australia, felt that the decision could have been on the basis of wickets lost.

“I guess the game of cricket is about runs and wickets and when the runs are tied, it’d be ideal then to take it back to how many wickets were lost,” he said.

“It’s just unfortunate. Those are the rules, we can’t complain.”