Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena in an interview admitted that awarding England six runs in the last over of the World Cup 2019 final was a judgemental error.
However, he said it was a collective decision which was taken after consultation with leg umpire Marais Erasmus, in a discussion that was audible to other umpires and match referee too. Therefore, he said, he would never regret it.
“It’s easy for people to comment after seeing TV replays. 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,” Kumar Dharmasena told Colombo-based weekly, the Sunday Times.
According to Law 19.8, the playing batsmen should have crossed each other towards the crease before the fielder begins throwing, to be counted as a run including the boundary when the ball hits it in an overthrow.
Here, question has also been raised on restriction on consulting TV umpire.
Dharmasena said no provision in the law referred to the third umpire as no dismissal was involved. He said he consulted the leg umpire through the communication system. Since they could not check TV replays so it was assumed that the batsmen had completed the run, he added.
“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,” he said.