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Marais Erasmus admits umpiring mistake in 2019 ODI World Cup final

England beat New Zealand to win maiden title four years ago
Umpire Marais Erasmus and England’s Joe Root. Reuters/File
Umpire Marais Erasmus and England’s Joe Root. Reuters/File

Former South African umpire Marais Erasmus has admitted his and fellow umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s mistake that gave England their maiden ODI World Cup title in 2019.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Erasmus said that they had realised the issue on the very next day of the memorable game at Lord’s.

England under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan lifted their first-ever 50-over World Cup trophy after beating New Zealand in the final. It was a thrilling contest, however, many fans believe the Black Caps were not treated fairly by the umpires in the last over the game when a throw on return hit the bat of a diving Ben Stokes and deflected for a boundary.

Erasmus and Dharmasena declared it as six runs (two runs + four overthrows), shocking many fans in the stadium and around the world. Although the match went to super over, the decision narrowed the margin for the hosts to lead the game to the last ball.

“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,” Erasmus told the English newspaper.

Former umpire Simon Taufel had also described the decision as a “mistake”.

“It’s a clear mistake… it’s an error of judgement,” Simon Taufel told Sydney Morning Herald back in 2019. “They [England] should have been awarded five runs, not six.

“The judgement error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That’s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw,” he had said.

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