Kumar Dharmasena, the umpire who officiated the finals, made a huge admission about the controversial World Cup final between England and New Zealand at Lord's Cricket Ground on 22 July. The umpire admitted that he was wrong in awarding the extra run to Ben Stokes after an overthrow from Martin Guptill deflected off the former's bat and ran away to the boundary.
Dharmasena said that he agreed that there was an error in his judgment after he watched the replays, according to foreign media reports. However, the umpire added that he did not enjoy the luxury of television replays on-field and hence he did not regret the decision he made.
Following his admission of the error, netizens lashed out at the umpire, criticizing him for not referring the decision to the third umpire despite having the opportunity to do so. Read some of the reactions below:
A fan said that the negligence was unforgivable as it had shattered a million dreams and that the admission did not help them in any manner.
Another user suggested ICC drop the umpire considering his track-record and wrong decisions made in previous matches.
Users took to point out that Dharmasena could have referred the decision to the Third Umpire but failed to do so.
A user took a jibe at the official and said that he would be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame for his decision and confession.
Joining the bandwagon of the voices asking for both England and New Zealand to be declared joint winners, a user suggested ICC stripping England off the trophy and awarding it to both the teams together.
One user took to point out the similarity between Dharmasena awarding the wrong decision because of the 'unavailability of television replays' and the famous Hand of God incident.
A throw from Black Caps fielder Martin Guptill deflected off Stokes' bat while he was diving to reach his crease to complete the second run and the ball ran off to the boundary in the dying stages of the England run chase. Stokes had attempted to complete two runs and hence the umpire awarded six runs in total after the overthrow. Many former cricketers and analysts have pointed out that England should have been awarded only five runs instead of six, a match-changing effect that would have seen the hosts go down by one run to New Zealand.
The Super Over saw a dramatic last-ball thriller as New Zealand's James Neesham and Martin Guptill attempted to chase down the 15-run target set by England but failed to do so after being run-out off the last ball. The tie in the Super Over forced the match-winner to be decided based on the team scoring a higher number of boundaries, leading to England lifting the World Cup trophy as they had scored 24 boundaries as opposed to New Zealand's 17 boundaries.