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New Zealand Coach wants ICC to re-evaluate technical match rules

New Zealand Cricket Coach Gary Stead

Wellington, July 16 (UITV): New Zealand coach Gary Stead has requested for the Cricket World Cup's rules to be re-examined marking the showpiece final “hollow” after it was declared England defeated the Black Caps on rules based on grounds of technicality.

The teams could not be differentiated at the end of both regular play and a Super Over shootout, so England was handed victory because they had a higher ranking in boundary count. Ironically, this year's dramatically thrilling WC final has been speculated more on Newzealand's defeat than England being declared as the World Champions. England and New Zealand played the momentary final of WC 2019, Chasing a target of 242, England looked down and out at 86/4 before Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler's counter-attack brought them close to the target. While Buttler finally got out on 59, Stokes persevered on with the lower order and the match went into super over.

“It's a very, very empty feeling that you can play 100 overs and score the same amount of runs and still lose the game, but that's the technicalities of sport,” Stead stated to press sources in remarks released by New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday.

He said such a stimulating match, which has been called by many experts as the greatest one-day game in history, deserved a better way to determine the result. Indeed, this year's unforgettable WC final is marked as historic because it was a match in which either of the teams did not lose.

“There's going to be many things they look at over the whole tournament — I'm sure when they were writing the rules they never thought of a World Cup final to happen like that,” he said.

“I'm sure it'll be reviewed (and) there are many varying ways that they'll probably explore.”

Stead brushed aside suggestions England had been mistakenly handed an extra run after a throw from a fielder hit the bat of a diving Ben Stokes' and diverted to the boundary in the final over of regular play.

England was awarded six runs but former umpire Simon Taufel said they should only have got five as the batsmen had not crossed for their second run when the throw was made.

“I didn't actually know that,” Stead said. “But at the end of the day, the umpires are there to rule.

“They're human as well, as players, and sometimes there's a mistake but that's just the human perspective of the sport.”

'We didn't lose' Skipper Kane Williamson mentioned his team was not defeated on the pitch, saying it instead fell victim to “fine print” in the rules.

He said that was a shame but the New Zealanders had signed up to the rules that governed the tournament.

“At the end of the day nothing separated us, no one lost the final, but there was a crowned winner and there it is,” he told Newstalk ZB.

The New Zealand captain and his teammates have been widely praised for the grace with which they accepted the hair raising defeat.

“Williamson has shown sports fans and elite athletes alike how to behave with humility, how to accept heartbreak,” stuff.co.nz columnist Kevin Norquay wrote.

“You don't need to smash your equipment, yell at the umpire, or swear at and threaten rival batsmen, even with the stress of a World Cup on your mind; this news will be foreign territory to some.”

There have been calls in New Zealand to give the team a ticker-tape parade, regardless of the result.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that was improbable but she wanted to ensure that the players received “a heroes' welcome” when they returned to the country.

New Zealand Cricket said they were in discussions with the government about when that would take place.

“At the moment, however, with some players arriving back at different times, some not arriving back at all, and others having alternative playing commitments, it's just not practical,” they said.

“Hopefully, given the interest surrounding this, we can organize something appropriate in the weeks to come.”