Wed | Aug 12, 2020

Letter of the Day | Cricket’s super over amended

Published:Saturday | October 19, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Remember the 50-over World Cup in England, the one where England and New Zealand played in a nail-biting, jaw-dropping final? It took a super over to decide the winner, and even at the end of the super over, the scores were still tied. England were eventually declared the winners by virtue of hitting more boundaries, winning on the boundary count-back rule.

While the coaching staff and players of both teams would have been well aware of the boundary countback rule, spectators were left bemused, befuddled at how England became champions with the scores still tied. Eventually, the countback rule explanation came and the criticisms followed.

For many, the countback rule was no way to decide a championship and they called for the abolition of the super over. A view of sharing the title was also expressed as a better option; but the World Cup decides the best team in the world. There cannot be two best. Imagine a FIFA World Cup finals with Brazil and their nemesis, Argentina, sharing the title? Unheard of. A single champion is needed.

In a move to allay all fears of a similar situation occurring in future tournaments, cricket’s governing body, ICC, has amended the super over regulations.


In the article ‘No more boundary countback as ICC changes Super Over regulations’ published on, it was stated that “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.”

This rule change removes the issue of winning on a technicality, and importantly, ensures that there is only one winner.

As penalty shoot-out is to football, so is the super over to cricket. The super over is a welcome addition to the limited-overs game, providing the thrill and all the excitement a game of sport can deliver. Credit must go to the ICC for acting swiftly and amending rather than abolishing the rule.

Abolishing it would be a disservice to cricket lovers and prospective fans of the sport. By amending the super over regulations, the ICC has provided fans with the opportunity of more tension-filled drama, and in the process, ensuring that the better team on the day is the one that is crowned champion.