The unprecedented conclusion to the 2019 men’s World Cup final has prompted an ICC rule change, putting an end to boundary countback as a way of deciding knockout games.
After board meetings in Dubai, the ICC resolved that in semi-finals and finals in future global tournaments, if the teams score the same number of runs in their Super Overs, the Super Over will be repeated until one team wins.
Had the new rules been in place for the 2019 final, England and New Zealand would have played another Super Over, rather than the game being decided on the technicality of England having scored more boundaries over the course of the final.
An ICC statement said that the change was “in keeping with the basic principle of scoring more runs than the opponent to win,” and added that both its cricket committee and the chief executives’ committee agreed the Super Over represented an “exciting and engaging conclusion” to a game.
The Super Over will also now be in place for every game in both 20-over and 50-over World Cups, having previously only applied in the knockout stages. In the group stages of a tournament, if a Super Over is tied then the match result will be logged as a tie.
The news drew a wry response from Jimmy Neesham, the New Zealand allrounder who faced five of his side’s six balls in the Super Over and who was left crestfallen amid England’s celebrations, after his team-mate Martin Guptill had been run out going for the winning run.
“Next on the agenda: Better binoculars for the ice spotters on the Titanic,” wrote Neesham on Twitter.