Marais Erasmus sheds light on umpiring mistake in 2019 WC final which cost New Zealand

"Did you see we made a massive error?" said Dharmasena to Erasmus on the following day of the final.

By Mihir Korde

Updated - 02 Apr 2024, 11:59 IST

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The 2019 Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand will forever be registered in the sport's history. For the first time, a World Cup final went to a Super Over after the match was tied after 50 overs per side. But the drama continued as the trophy was being decided by a single over tie-breaker. At the same time, some umpiring errors could not be overlooked as they put the game in England's favour.

The country that introduced the game to the world had to wait until 2019 to finally win their first-ever 50-over World Cup. However, the joy of the home team's triumph at Lord's was undercut by significant umpiring mistakes that allowed England to win the game by the slimmest of margins, as the Super Over was also tied and the winner was decided based on boundary count. This left the New Zealand cricket team and their supporters with a mix of heartbreak and what-ifs.

The crucial moment came in the final over of England's chase when a deflection off Ben Stokes' bat for an overthrow ran to the boundary. On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena incorrectly awarded England six runs when only five runs should have been given as the batters had not crossed for the second run.

Also Read: Marais Erasmus calls time on international umpiring career

We made a massive error: Marais Erasmus

According to Erasmus, the umpires simply got flustered at the moment, saying, “The next morning 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?’” Erasmus told The Daily Telegraph.

“That’s when I got to know about it. But at the moment on the field, we just said six, you know, communicated to each other, ‘six, six, it’s six’ not realizing that they haven’t crossed, it wasn’t picked up. That’s it,” he added.

Ben Stokes was apologetic after the incident to Kane Williamson and the team, but the mistake went on to favour the hosts as Stokes played a crucial innings to guide his team home with his match-winning knock.

“Playing against New Zealand is always a good event, they are good lads. I will be apologizing to Kane for the rest of my life … It was written in the stars to happen for us,” Stokes said at that time.

While that blunder drew the most headlines, Erasmus revealed his biggest regret was wrongly dismissing Ross Taylor LBW when replays showed the ball would have missed the stumps. As one of New Zealand's top batters, that decision potentially cost the Black Caps crucial runs.

Also Read: Rob Key pitches for Andrew Flintoff as next England head coach

“It was just too high but they had burnt their review. That was my only error in the whole seven weeks and afterward, 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 impacted the game a bit because he was one of their top players.,” the former umpire concluded.

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