England players celebrate after winning 2019 ODI World Cup by defeating New Zealand. Retired elite panel umpire Marais Erasmus has admitted to making a ‘massive’ mistake in the final.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Recently retired elite panel umpire Marais Erasmus has admitted to making a ‘massive’ mistake in the 2019 ODI World Cup final that England won in a rather controversial fashion at the iconic Lord’s.

England won their maiden ODI World Cup title by edging New Zealand on the now-scrapped boundary countback rule after both teams were tied following a Super Over.

However, the game could have ended in regulation time if on-field umpire Erasmus and Kumar Dharamsena did not award England six runs for an overthrow in the 50th over with the hosts needing nine runs from three balls. It was later realised that England should have been awarded only five runs as the batters had not crossed for the second run.

“The next morning (after the final) I opened my hotel room door on my way to breakfast and Kumar opened his door at the same time and he said, ‘did you see we made a massive error?’ That’s when I got to know about it,” Erasmus told ‘The Telegraph‘.

“But in the moment on the field, we just said six, you know, communicated to each other, ‘six, six, it’s six’ not realising that they haven’t crossed, it wasn’t picked up. That’s it.”

Erasmus was an on-field umpire in 127 Tests, 192 ODIs and 61 T20s. The 60-year-old admitted to another mistake in the final played five years ago when he adjudged Ross Taylor lbw off Mark Wood.

“It was just too high but they had burnt their review. That was my only error in the whole seven weeks and afterwards I was so disappointed because it would have been an absolute flip had I got through the whole World Cup not making an error and that obviously impacted the game a bit because he was one of their top players,” added the South African.

Over the course of his long umpiring career, Erasmus was least pressurised by New Zealand, the perennial good guys of the game while the likes of Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene tried to intimidate him and his colleagues.

“They (New Zealand) were always very, very respectful”, while Ponting and Jayawardene “tried to intimidate us. Sometimes it was subtle and sometimes not subtle.”


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