More than 8 million tune in to see England win World Cup
LONDON, July 15, (RTRS): England should have been awarded five runs instead of six in the final over of Sunday’s World Cup title clash against New Zealand after a throw from the deep struck Ben Stokes’ bat and ran away for a boundary, former umpire Simon Taufel has said.
England ended their 44-year wait for a maiden 50-overs World Cup by beating New Zealand on boundaries after a tied Super Over. But Australian Taufel suggested that the umpires had made an “error of judgement”. With England needing nine runs from the last three balls of the final over, Stokes desperately dived to complete a second run when Martin Guptill’s throw from the deep hit his bat and went to the boundary, prompting the umpire to signal six runs.
“It’s a clear mistake. It’s an error of judgment. (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six,” Taufel, who is part of cricket’s law-making body, told foxsports.com.au.
MCC’s law 19.8, which deals with overthrows, says: “If the boundary results from an overthrow… runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded… and allowance for the boundary, and runs completed by batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.” “The umpires take decisions on the field with their interpretation of the rules and we don’t comment on any decisions as a matter of policy,” a spokesperson for the governing International Cricket Council said.
Cricket website ESPNcricinfo reported after reviewing footage that Guptill had released the ball when Stokes and Adil Rashid had not yet crossed for the second run.
Taufel said leg-spinner Rashid would have been on strike to face the last two deliveries had the second run been found to be incomplete.
However, he had sympathy for Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena and his South African colleague Marais Erasmus, the men in the middle.
“In the heat of what was going on, they thought there was a good chance the batsmen crossed at the instant of the throw,” the 48-year-old added.
“Obviously TV replays showed otherwise. The difficulty you (umpires) have is you’ve got to watch batsmen completing runs, then change focus and watch for the ball being picked up, and watch for the release (of the throw).
“You also have to watch where the batsmen are at that exact moment… it’s unfair on England, New Zealand and the umpires involved to say it decided the outcome.” More than 8 million people in Britain tuned in to watch England win the Cricket World Cup on Sunday following the decision by Sky decision to allow the final to be shown on a free-to-air channel.
After criticism that England’s earlier matches had only been watched by under a million viewers on Sky’s subscription-based channels, the broadcaster made Sunday’s finale against New Zealand available on Channel 4.
“I’m thrilled that a total peak audience of 8.3m watched England win the Cricket World Cup. It’s wonderful that the whole nation can come together to share these momentous British sporting events,” said Alex Mahon, chief executive at Channel 4.
More than 50 percent of those who watched the dramatic match, which England won on boundary count after a tied Super Over, did so on Channel 4.
However, despite being available to more people, the cricket failed to top numbers who watched the BBC’s coverage of the thrilling Wimbledon tennis men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, which took place at the same time and peaked at 9.6 million viewers.
The lack of free-to-air coverage of England’s progress through the competition was blamed for the failure to generate the excitement of other major sporting competitions.
More than 11 million viewers in Britain tuned watched the England women’s soccer team in the semifinal of the World Cup in France for free on the BBC, making it the country’s most widely viewed broadcast of 2019.
The 2005 Ashes series against Australia attracted an audience of some 8.4 million, but the number of viewers dwindled after the decision was made to screen all England games on subscription channels.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said the World Cup victory would live forever in British sporting history and cricket chiefs are hopeful the game will inspire more young people to play the game.
“It’s also exciting to think just how many children will be inspired by this victory to pick up a bat for the first time and hopefully become the great cricketers and World Cup winners of tomorrow,” May’s spokesman said.