Who writes the Rules (not the Laws) and the Regulations?
As you will know if you visit here often
I rarely comment on men's cricket. Indeed I haven't written much at
all lately but more of that later.
Yesterday, no doubt in the company of
millions of others, I watched the Men's World Cup Final. It was
undoubtedly one of the finest and certainly most closely fought games
I have ever seen appear on my plasma (or is it LCD?) screen. From
minute to minute, especially as the game neared its climax, I was on
the edge of my seat wondering who would manage to hold their nerve and
come out on top in this hard-fought contest.
And, would you believe it, no one did!
As you all know, not only did the match end in a tie but so did the
so-called Super Over (SO), or as a scorer I know insists on calling it
OOPS as the regulations once used this abbreviation for "one over per
side". Now here's a problem! What to do now. Well the regulations will
help us and so we dig into them expecting a logical answer to the
problem in front of us. What might it be?
For instance, could it be we have
another Super Over? Boy, that would really wind up the excitement to a
pitch that prompted one commentator to ask his fellow "Is anyone
selling defibrillators?" Were we going to pile excitement upon
excitement? Well, we could have done but 'No' there was an answer in
the fount of all knowledge. Enough excitement for one day - we can't
have any more...
I know, why don't we work on who who has
lost the fewer wkts? That would be logical. If two teams make an equal
number of runs then the one losing the fewest wickets has obviously
played better on the day. Apparently that wouldn't do either. We need
to drag out the scoresheets and decide who had hit the most boundaries
in the match.
When I heard this I could hardly believe
my ears. Had something changed in the Laws of the game? Were
boundaries suddenly going to be worth more than an equivalent number
of singles? Makes no sense that 1x4 doesn't equal 4x1. Had whoever
written this not done the most basic maths at school? Or was there a
sudden change to the Laws of the game part way through the match and
the later boundaries should be scored as 5 rather than 4. Maybe that
The result to me was highly
unsatisfactory. Please don't get me wrong! I am an England supporter -
well if you've read anything here in the last 22 years you'll already
know that - but this was really not the way I would want 'my' team to
win and it's not the way I would have wanted to win anything back in
the day when I dressed all in white - we hadn't invented coloured
clothing then - well not for the cricket field anyway.
I have to extend my sympathy to New
Zealand. Not only did they not get the rub of the green on the day
(Ross Taylor's dismissal that shouldn't have been, and the extra run
after the ball thrown in from the bounday that hit Ben Stokes' bat
acquired one more run than it should have and put the stronger batsman
on strike) but that's cricket. All human's are fallible including
umpires, and despite some helpful but not fool-proof technology, we
all have to live with that.
Nonetheless, why didn't we have another
SO? It would not only have allowed one side to actually win (for I
fear no one really did with this odd arrangement) or even a third or
fourth. It could so easily have added so much extra drama that those
in their twenties would one day be telling their grandchildren about
it. It was a huge opportunity missed!!! [And don't tell me that's TV
schedules for you - no TV company would have cut away from that!]
For a while I felt I was probably the
only person on this side of the world who held these views when I
received the following from a regular correspondent.
Because it feels
like we won on an arbitrary technicality that has no part in normal
cricket! After 50 overs, in my mind, New Zealand had won because they
had lost fewer wickets. I mean, how do we record wins by the team
batting? We say "won by X wickets" don't we? Do we ever say won by X
boundaries? No. Did we once use wickets as a tie breaker? Unless my
memory is playing tricks, yes we did.
Back to basics is my
Well, at least I'm not totally alone!
In summary, England were lucky, New
Zealand were robbed and cricket was the winner. It is likely to be the
hardest fought match I will watch for many a year and it's a shame the
trophy wouldn't be shared. [Notice I say 'wouldn't not 'couldn't']
That's what both teams really deserved!