Ben Stokes created arguably the most pivotal moment in ODI history during the Cricket World Cup final.
And it’s now been revealed that England’s World Cup hero had asked the umpires to overturn the decision that ultimately led to England’s win over New Zealand.
With England needing nine off the final three balls of the final at Lord’s, Christchurch-born Stokes was running back for a second run when a throw from Martin Guptill hit his bat and deflected to the boundary for four.
It meant six was recorded off the ball instead of two and Stokes eventually got two singles off the final two balls to force a tie and a Super Over.
Stokes’ test teammate for the upcoming Ashes series, Jimmy Anderson revealed that Stokes had appealed to the umpires to turnover their decision which could have seen the match never reach a tie.
“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,” Anderson told the BBC’s Tailenders podcast.
“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’.
“But it’s in the rules and that’s the way it is.
The moment the cricket world erupted.Source:AFP
“It’s been talked about for a while among the players, potentially that being a dead ball if it does hit the batsman and veer off somewhere.”
Stokes was quick to apologise to the Black Caps on the field and continued that after the match.
“Playing against New Zealand is always a good event, they are good lads. I will be apologising to Kane for the rest of my life … It was written in the stars to happen for us,” he said.
But, having been the beneficiaries of the cruellest twist in World Cup history, the all-rounder’s words must have rung hollow in Williamson’s ears.
“In the last over when the ball hit the bat and went for four it’s not exactly what you ask for,” he said.
“I’ve apologised to Kane countless times about that. It’s not exactly how you want to do it.”
History will record Stokes’ greatness in the moments that followed as he bashed 84 not out in a famous knock. But it will also remember the outright cruelty under which New Zealand was robbed.
“That was a bit of a shame, wasn’t it?” Williamson said of Stokes’ slide after the tied super over which gifted England victory by virtue of a boundary count back.
A tie that feels a lot like a victory.Source:AFP
“That’s the game we play. You can’t nitpick, it just wasn’t meant to be.
“Look, it certainly wasn’t for one extra run, there are so many parts in that match that could have gone either way. Congratulations to England, they had a fantastic campaign and deserve their victory.”
He also admitted his side was “shattered”.
“It’s devastating. Tough to swallow,” he said.
Williamson admitted it was tougher to swallow the fact that his team lost the World Cup on the back of a double tie.
“What did they win it on, boundaries? While the emotions are raw it’s pretty hard to swallow when two teams work so hard to get to this moment in time,” he said.
“We had two attempts to separate us and still couldn’t — it is what it is, the rules are there at the start and they probably never thought they would have to use them.
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