England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but New Zealand did not lose the final. Such an oxymoronic result is only possible in the ever so complicated game of cricket. 14th of July will forever be remembered for producing one of the most memorable games of One Day Internationals (ODI); a hearts stopping, rollercoaster of emotions that is destined to be discussed far into the future. However, it will also be remembered as one of the most controversial World Cup victories ever awarded, which will cast a sharp relief on the rules of the cricket and the role of the International Cricketing Council (ICC) in administering them.

In short, there was nothing to separate the two teams after the regulation innings and the Super Over played afterwards – both scored the same amount of runs. The victory was awarded over which sides scored the most boundaries over the course of the match. If this rule seems arbitrary and devoid of any sporting logic, suffice to know that it is. Cricket comes with a legal jurisprudence worth of rules, many of which are constantly tweaked by the ICC without much ado or outside consultation. This rule, made just before the tournament started is just one way to separate two sides after a tied Super Over – and a nonsensical one at that.

If both sides have scored the same runs, why does it matter that one side scored more boundaries? It would have made infinitely more sense to simply have another Super Over until a clear victor is determined. This is how it functions in most sports where a result is mandatory. Football continues to have penalties until one side wins, while tennis has extra sets to determine the winner; in fact that is how the Wimbledon Trophy was decided at almost the same moment on the other side of London.

Even a shared trophy makes more sense than the arbitrary way in which the match was decided – if two sides cannot be separated after a 7-week long tournament, it is only fair that both of them share in the victory. A shared trophy has been stipulated if the final is washed out and there is no result, why change the rule when the match is played and there is no result?

To make matters worse for the ICC it has emerged that the umpires misapplied the rule of “overthrows” and gave one extra run to England, which is a matter of life and death in the final few balls. How could such a mistake be made in the modern game at such a stage is inexplicable.

England may have won their first World Cup, but New Zealand truly deserved to win it. In lieu of retrospective action they will remain robbed of what is rightfully theirs.