The International cricket council (ICC) defended Kumar Dharmasena’s controversial decision of awarding England an extra run for an overthrow in the final of the recently-concluded ICC World Cup against New Zealand.

ICC came out with a public statement for the first time after the umpire was criticized for awarding six runs instead of five. The international governing body of cricket came out in defence of Dharmasena as it stated the “right process” was followed by the umpire while conducting the decision.

Midway through the final over the England innings, when Ben Stokes hit the ball towards the mid-wicket, a throw from Martin Guptil deflected off the bat of Stokes, who was trying to complete two runs, and went for an extra boundary. The hosts were awarded six runs which eventually helped them tie the match from where the won the game in super over on boundary count.

However, TV replays showed that Adil Rashid, the non-striker batsman, and Stokes had not crossed each other by the time Guptill released the ball. It prompted many to question the on-field umpire’s decision of awarding the home team six runs. As per ICC rules, in case of an overthrow the batsmen must cross each other before the fielder releases the ball to be counted it as a run.

“They (on-field umpires) had to make a judgement call on the day as to whether the batsmen had crossed when the throw was released. After everything that went on during that delivery, they got together over their comms system and made their decision. They certainly followed the right process when making the decision,” ICC’s general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

This brought heavy criticism towards ICC and the Dharmasena for as fans, pundits, ex-cricketers alike started questioning the integrity of the game for allowing such leeways in such a crucial moment of the game which eventually decided the fate of it. However, countering all the allegations and condemnations for the first time, the general manager of the ICC also clarified that the on-field umpires understood that the situation of the game did not allow for the intervention of third umpire or match referee.

“They were aware of the law when they made the judgment about whether the batsmen had crossed or not at the time. The playing conditions don’t allow them to refer to such a decision to a third umpire. The match referee cannot intervene when the umpires on the field have to make a judgement call like that,” he explained.

He further mentioned that the entire final would be considered and discussed in the next meeting ICC’s Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble. However, the committee is not scheduled to meet until the first quarter of 2020.

On being asked if the possibility of sharing the World Cup between England and New Zealand was raised at the ICC Annual Conference Meeting last week, Allardice said, “”The consistent view has been that the World Cup final needs a winner and a Super Over was in the playing conditions to decide a tied Final in each of the last three World Cups (2011, 2015 and 2019).”

Furthermore, ICC has given green-signal to the usage of a stop-clock to help the umpires keep a check in the over-rate of the teams in limited-over matches. “In a T20 innings, the clock would start at 85 minutes when the first ball is bowled, and countdown to zero. The aim is that players, umpires and fans will know that when the clock gets to zero the bowling team should have started the last over,” he added.