NEW DELHI: Recently retired elite panel umpire Marais Erasmus has publicly acknowledged a significant error made during the 2019 ODI World Cup final, which saw England clinch victory in a highly controversial manner at the renowned Lord’s Cricket Ground.
In that historic match, England secured their inaugural ODI World Cup title by narrowly defeating New Zealand, with the match ending in a tie even after a Super Over.The ultimate decision was determined by the now-discontinued boundary countback rule.
However, Erasmus has come forth to admit a pivotal mistake made during the game. In the crucial 50th over, with England requiring nine runs from three balls, Erasmus and his fellow umpire Kumar Dharmasena awarded England six runs for an overthrow. Subsequently, it was revealed that only five runs should have been granted to England, as the batsmen had not completed the second run before the overthrow occurred.
This admission sheds light on a critical moment in the match, indicating that the outcome might have been different had the correct decision been made.
“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.”
Marais Erasmus, who officiated as an on-field umpire in 127 Tests, 192 ODIs, and 61 T20s throughout his distinguished career, has confessed to yet another error during the 2019 ODI World Cup final, adding to the scrutiny surrounding the match.
In the final played five years ago, Erasmus made a critical decision by adjudging Ross Taylor lbw off the bowling of Mark Wood. However, upon reflection, Erasmus acknowledged that this decision was also a mistake, further fueling the debate over the officiating in that high-stakes encounter.
“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.”
(With PTI inputs)


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