England won their first World Cup on the basis of a superior boundary count against New Zealand in the finals played at Lord's on Sunday.
Two dramatic run-outs in the final over of England's innings took the game into a Super Over with the scores tied on 241. And with the Super Over also ending in a tie, the winner of 2019 edition of the showpiece event was decided by the number of boundaries. England scored 26 boundaries in total in the entire duration of the match as compared to 17 by the Black Caps.
However, many of the fans and cricketers couldn't digest the fact that the winner of the prestigious quadrennial event was decided on the basis of such a rule. Many took to Twitter to slam the ICC for the "ridiculous" rule.
"Some rules in cricket definitely needs a serious look in," tweeted Indian opener Rohit Sharma.
"Don't understand how the game of such proportions, the CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule ICC. Should have been a tie. I want to congratulate both New Zealand and England on playing out a nail biting Final. Both winners imo (in my opinion)," tweeted former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir.
"Congratulations to England! Commiserations New Zealand. I've got to say that it's a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change," said former Australian pacer Brett Lee.
"Difficult to digest this more boundary rule. Something like sudden death- continuous super overs till a result is a better solution. Understand, wanting a definite winner but sharing a trophy is better than deciding on more boundaries. Very tough on New Zealand," said Mohammad Kaif.
"Congrats England in their first World Cup win... unlucky New Zealand... the Laws or rules of the Tournament need to be looked at! It's a WC Final!!! Another Super over at least!" said Dean Jones.
"I don't agree with that rule! But rules are rules congratulations to England on finally winning the World Cup, my heart goes out for the kiwis they fought till the end. Great game an epic final!!!!" said Yuvraj Singh.
"I really don't like the rule of the team scoring the maximum boundaries winning a tied match. It puts an accent on big hits and does not reward teams that run harder. How about one where, in case of a tie, we take out extras. The team with most runs with the bat wins," said cricket expert Joy Bhattacharjya.
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris called ICC a joke.
"Nice work @ICC ... you are a joke!!!," he wrote.
Opting to bat, New Zealand had put up a modest 241 for eight. In reply, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator.
In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes, who kept the hosts in the game with a brilliant 84 off 98 balls, and Jos Buttler made 15, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count.
Former New Zealand cricketers were also left hugely disappointed by the ICC's rule, describing it as "absurd" and "unfortunate".
Former Black Caps all-rounder Dion Nash said he felt cheated after the finals.
"I feel really empty, and a bit cheated," he was quoted as saying in stuff.co.nz.
"Clearly, it's ridiculous... really absurd. It's about as random as tossing a coin." Nash, however, said there was no point complaining as the rules were laid down much before the tournament.
"But you also have to look at it from the (view of the) people setting the rules. I mean who thinks it's going to be a draw, and then you draw in the Super Over? What are the chances? "You can't complain, it was done at the start of the tournament. But I think that's probably indicative of where the game's mindset's at. Why not credit the guys who took the most wickets? "The real measure that was used for generations was least amount of wickets lost. So why have we changed that?" Kyle Mills, who was part of the 2015 team which lost its first-ever World Cup final to Australia, felt that the decision could have been on the basis of wickets lost.
"I guess the game of cricket is about runs and wickets and when the runs are tied, it'd be ideal then to take it back to how many wickets were lost," he said.
"It's just unfortunate. Those are the rules, we can't complain."