Cricket World Cup 2019 runners-up New Zealand have been receiving constant support on social media from fans, cricket experts, former and present players ever since they lost the final on Sunday but all that support for the Blackcaps has sort of overshadowed England’s win to the extent that some have even trolled them for the manner in which they were declared the world champions at the Lord’s cricket ground on Sunday.
Sure England did not technically win the final but in their defence, all the 10 teams and their captains knew the rules that the International Cricket Council had laid down for this World Cup and they had all agreed to it before playing the tournament.
ICC’s new rules came into effect only last year, including the guidelines laid down for the final. In case of a tie in the final, a Super Over was to be played and a tied Super Over would mean that the team with that hit the most number of boundaries in the 50 overs and in the Super Over would be declared winners.
It was a highly unlikely scenario which nobody would have even imagined in their dreams would come true in a high-profile match like the World Cup final. But it did happen.
New Zealand and England both ended up with 241 runs in their allotted 50 overs and had to play out a Super Over but even that could not separate the two sides as both scored 15 runs each.
England prevailed because they had hit a total of 26 boundaries – fours and sixes scored across both the 50 overs and the Super Over – compared with New Zealand’s 17.
As soon as the match ended, fans took to social media to express their displeasure at the rules and started slamming the ICC. But some people also turned to the England cricket team, stating that they didn’t deserve to win the title in this way also suggesting that the trophy should have been shared.
England players however, have been nothing but humble in victory. The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes commiserated the New Zealand team immediately after the final ended.
Chris Woakes was one of the first players who went up to Martin Guptill and consoled the Kiwi opener after he was run out off the last ball in the Super Over.
And Stokes even apologised to Kane Williamson for the overthrow that cost New Zealand 6 runs in the final over during the run chase.
“Playing against New Zealand is a great event to be part of. They’re great lads. I think I’ll be apologising to them for the rest of my life [for that overthrow for four off his bat in the last over],” Stokes said on Sunday.
England captain Eoin Morgan also went on to praise Kane Williamson’s side and even went on to say that the New Zealand players are great ambassadors of the game.
“I’d like to commiserate Kane (Williamson) and his team. The fight that they show is worth aspiring to. The example that they lead is hugely commendable to him and his team. It was a very hard-fought game,” Morgan said at the post-match presentation.
People may or may not agree with the ICC or the way England clinched their first 50-over World Cup title, but fact remains that the rules were equal for every team and everybody knew what they were getting into before the tournament even began.
It is high time the cricketing fraternity comes to terms with that fact that England won the World Cup fair and square. Credit must go to them for the way they fought in the final and they deserve an even bigger round of applause for the way they carried themselves on the field after the win with no over-the-top celebrations.
Like it or not but England were the best team in the competition and they proved it on the field by lifting the trophy on July 14.