A tournament in any sport can be a source of excitement and anticipation. After four years of waiting, cricket fans were eager to cheer on their favorite teams playing in this year’s International Cricket Conference (ICC) World Cup in England and Wales. If you’re not sure how the matches are played in the ICC World Cup, here’s a quick breakdown. In the group (or initial) round, every team gets a chance to play each other. When all of the matches have been played, the top four teams advance to the semi-finals.
This year, Australia, India, England, and New Zealand made it to the semi-finals, but it was England, the host country, and New Zealand who ultimately made their way to the finals. Cool fact? Neither country has ever won an ICC World Cup before!
If you’re not familiar with cricket, click here for a quick overview of the sport. Now, on to what happened in this exciting final game! It was a long game with the umpires finally deciding on a shootout because the score was too close to declare a winner. Each team played six balls in the shootout. The team with the higher score would win the World Cup. Easy, right? Not so fast. Even in the shootout, the teams tied! The umpires were stumped—this had never happened before. Now what? The umpires decided to use an old and unfamiliar rule that will most likely haunt the ICC World Cup for years to come.
This rule awarded the win to the team that hit the most boundary runs during the entire final game. A boundary run is when a batter hits the ball to the boundary without being stopped by any fielder.
Never before in the history of cricket has this rule been enforced. When England was declared the winner, fans erupted in celebration, while those who were rooting for New Zealand questioned the use of the rule and thought that the final decision was unfair. After all, does it seem fair to declare a winner based on how the runs were scored versus how many runs were scored?
What’s an unusual rule you have seen enforced in any sport? Did you think the rule was fair?