Umpire Kumar Dharmasena has admitted that an error was made in the decision to give England six runs instead of five in the World Cup final, but he has no regrets.
Needing 15 runs from the final over, Stokes smashed a six and then sensationally picked up four overthrows when a throw from deep hit his bat as he dived towards his crease and rolled out to the boundary.
According to MCC rule 19.8, the runs scored should include the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen plus the run in progress if they had already crossed by the time the ball had been thrown, which Stokes and Rashid had not.
Simon Taufel – five-time winner of the ICC’s Umpire of the Year – explained why the on-field ruling was wrong, but Dharmasena has revealed it was a collective decision.
“It’s easy for people to comment after seeing TV replays,” Dharmasena told Sri Lankan publication the Sunday Times.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“For instance, an umpire can call a wide or a no-ball wrongly and just because the TV replays shows otherwise, we cannot go back and reverse the match. This is one such incident.”
Smith underwent a “precautionary scan” of his neck that thankfully had not revealed any structural damage.
“I think it was important that we bounced back strongly after Edgbaston and I think we’ve certainly done that.”
Jofra Archer has changed the mood if not the scoreline.
Steve Smith out, Marnus Labuschagne in.
Woakes enjoyed Archer v Smith just as much as the rest of us.
The marquee might read England v Australia, but we all know it’s Steve Smith v Jofra Archer
Thankfully, Smith appears to have suffered no lasting damage.
Olly Stone has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a partial lower back stress fracture.
It’ll take a superb spell of bowling or a shambolic batting collapse for either side to win from here.
Click to see Steve Smith’s ‘cat on a hot tin roof’ impression.