Even as the controversy over the four runs conceded to England via overthrows after the ball hit a diving Ben Stokes' bat refused to die down, a new development has emerged. Apparently, Stokes requested the umpires to strike off the four runs from England's scoreboard, which turned the match in England's favor. But, the umpires had to stick to the rules.
The umpire Kumar Dharmasena consulted Marais Erasmus and his other umpiring colleagues, before signaling a total of six runs. However, according to an IANS report, James Anderson has revealed that Stokes actually asked the umpires to take back the four runs as he felt it was unfair on New Zealand.
"The etiquette in cricket is if the ball is thrown at the stumps and it hits you and goes into a gap in the field you don't run," Sydney Morning Herald quoted Anderson as telling BBC's Tailenders podcast, according to the IANS report.
"But if it goes to the boundary, in the rules it's four and you can't do anything about it. I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, 'Can you take that four runs off. We don't want it'," Anderson went on to say.
"But it's in the rules and that's the way it is," the England fast bowler added.
Notably, former Australia umpire Simon Taufel, one of the legends in the game, has pointed out that the on-field umpires erred in giving England six runs where it should have been five.
"They. should have been awarded five runs, not six," Taufel told foxsports.com.au. "It's a clear mistake and it's an error of judgment," he added. Stokes and Adil Rashid crossed for the second run only after the ball hit Stokes' bat at the non-striker's end, which means only one run had been completed.
ICC, meanwhile, has refused to comment on the controversy, stating the on-field umpires made a decision through their interpretation of the rules.
For the record, England won the World Cup on better boundary count after the 50-over clash, as well as the Super Over, was tied.
--By A Cricket Correspondent