Super Over to be Repeated in a Tie: ICC Removes Boundary Count Rule
If there is any event in recent history that was characteristically as capricious as the weather during a storm, it had to be the Cricket World Cup Finals this year. Never before had audiences witnessed such a nail-biting, exhilarating, action-packed, thrilling end to a tournament in the history of sports, entertainment, or in this case, an amalgamation of both. There was an air of uncertainty when it came to predicting a winner, insomuch that even 10cric India live was dubious about the final outcome of the match as the bets were flowing in all directions. However, this not only spiked entertainment charts, but also raised many eyebrows regarding the validity of certain rules of the game.
Wrath of the Fans
Most of the fans of cricket were dissatisfied with the result—not because of favouritism but due to the fact that, to a certain degree, the result did not have solid grounds of justification. For the uninitiated, a super over is ideally played following the general rules of cricket. In special scenarios such as in the case of a draw during the aforementioned super over, according to the ICC, the winning title was supposed to be given to the team with the greatest number of boundaries—what is otherwise known as the “boundary rule”.
This sparked a great deal of controversy when England became World Cup winners based on the pretext that they scored more boundaries compared to their opponents, New Zealand. Cricket fans all over the world were not just devastated by the result, but also exasperated because of the obscure, obsolete rules set by ICC, especially considering how the Black Caps were the underdogs, and hence, had higher demographic support. Cricket fans established their dislike towards the outcome of events, and expressed their resentment over social media, albeit their sense of understanding was commendable, considering how they realized that events in the past cannot be changed, and hence, the spectators wanted a substantial solution rather than an immediate fix.
After understanding the gravity of the matter, ICC in a press release on 14th October 2019, announced the abatement of the aforementioned rule of boundaries. It essentially scrapped off the obsolete rule that seemed fairly unfair on certain grounds, and instead set forth a new set of rules that leaves little to no room for injustice—for the newly established rules makes it a point to keep continuing super overs until one team scores more than the other, in case the exceptionally rare situation of a tie during a super over arrives. The press release on Monday stated the following:
“The Super Over as a way to decide results at ICC events will be retained. Both the Cricket Committee and CEC agreed it was an exciting and engaging conclusion to the game and will remain in place covering all games at both ODI and T20I World Cups.”
It is to be noted that the contemporary set of rules are only confined to the spheres of matches where it is quintessential to establish a winner. In cases of group stages of matches, this rule is rendered invalid. The press release had to express a few words regarding this and addressed conflicts that may arise during group stages:
“In group stages, if the Super Over is tied the match will be tied. In Semi-Finals and Finals, there is one change to the Super Over-regulation in keeping with the basic principle of scoring more runs than the opponent to win, the Super Over will be repeated until one team has more runs than the other.”
This years’ edition of the Cricket World Cup Finals left most cricketers bemused, even the ones who were not participants. India’s leading opener, Rohit Sharma, expressed his grievance and stated how these set of rules left him rather perplexed. In a certain tweet, Rohit Sharma said, “Some rules in cricket definitely need a serious look in.”
Former cricketer and Australian fast bowler Brett Lee expressed his bafflement over social media too. He seemed to be rather disappointed, possibly more than any of the panelists. This can be rooted to the fact that he was much more vocal about his support for the Black Caps and has gone on record, expressing how he would want the underdog to take the crown. In a tweet, he stated, “A horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.”
ICC also expressed their grievances over the results of this years’ World Cup Finals, realizing how it could have had a different result altogether if these new sets of rules already existed. ICC acknowledged that the past is something one can account for, and retrospect too, but certainly cannot be altered.