ICC World Cup 2019 | I agree there was an error, but I do not regret the decision, says Kumar Dharmasena
Although Kumar Dharmasena has admitted that the decision to award England six runs instead of five, following the overthrow in the World Cup final, was an error, he said that he will never regret it. Dharmasena had consulted with his co-umpire Marais Erasmus before making the call.
Law 19.8 of the MCC playing conditions states that the batsmen at the crease - Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid - should have already crossed before Martin Guptill began to throw for the second run to count in the final tally. Replays suggested this was not the case. In simpler terms, the equation for England should have been 4 off 2 with Rashid on strike, instead of 3 off 2 with Stokes on strike. However, Dharmasena reckons that without the TV replays, it was impossible to make that call.
"It's easy for people to comment after seeing TV replays. I agree that there was a judgmental error when I see it on TV replays now. But we did not have the luxury of TV replays at the ground and I will never regret the decision I made. Besides, the ICC praised me for the decision I made at that time," Dharmasena told the Sunday Times, reported ESPNCricinfo.
While the players themselves had no major problems with the situation, public opinion was split in two, with some particularly hostile about the manner in which England eventually won the title. The lack of use of technology was argued by the public, but Dharmasena stands clear on this.
"There is no provision in the law to refer this to the third umpire as no dismissal was involved. So, I did consult the leg umpire through the communication system which is heard by all other umpires and the match referee. And, while they cannot check TV replays, they all confirmed that the batsmen have completed the run. This is when I made my decision," Dharmasena said.
Earlier, during the semi-final clash between England and Australia, Dharmasena had come under fire for giving England opener Jason Roy out caught behind, when the ball had clearly missed the bat by some distance. However, the former Sri Lankan World Cup winner, clarified that the situation in the final was no short of crazy.
"One must understand that there were too many things on our plate. We had to watch the batsmen complete the first run, the ball being fielded, how it was handled by the fielder and whether the batsmen completed the second run. And where the throw would come from, the striker's end or non-striker's end.
"In this case, we were all happy that the batsmen had completed the second run because the ball ricocheted off Stokes's bat at the time of him completing the second run. So, we assumed that they had crossed each other at the time of fielder releasing the ball. These are things that happen in a cricket field," he added.