A former international cricket umpire and member of the committee that sets the rules in cricket has said that England only won the Cricket World Cup yesterday as a result of an officiating error.

Australian Simon Taufel, who was voted ICC Umpire of the Year five times, said that a freak incident in which a fielder's throw struck Ben Stokes' bat and ran to the boundary should have been awarded as five runs instead of the six that he received.

Basically, England were awarded two runs for passing between the wickets twice, and four runs for the ball fortuitously ricocheting off Stokes to the boundary ropes.

Top Umpire Says That England Shouldn't Have Won Cricket World Cup
Stokes apologised afterwards. Credit: PA

However, Taufel says that an 'error of judgement' was made by the match officials when they made their decision yesterday.

Taufel told Fox Sports Australia: "They (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six.

"It's a clear mistake … it's an error of judgement."

Let me explain.

Rule 19.8 of the MCC rulebook – by which cricket is governed – states:

If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be

– any runs for penalties awarded to either side

– and the allowance for the boundary

– and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.

Top Umpire Says That England Shouldn't Have Won Cricket World Cup
He didn't know what was happening, just got lucky. Credit: PA

In case you're still not sure, what that means is that because the runners hadn't crossed when the throw came in, the second run should not have counted.

Oh, and England should have had tailender Adil Rashid on strike for the remaining balls, not Stokes.

Whilst Taufel admits that the umpires had a split second to make an incredibly difficult decision, and a lot to consider in that short time, by the letter of the law, it was a mistake.

He's also keen to say that it's not fair to the officials to say that this particular moment decided the result of the match overall.

Top Umpire Says That England Shouldn't Have Won Cricket World Cup
New Zealand can feel a little bit hard done by. Credit: PA

He continued: "In the heat of what was going on, they thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw.

"Obviously TV replays showed otherwise."

That would have meant that Rashid would have needed to hit four runs from the last two balls. Who knows what would have happened?

Either way, it didn't matter. England were awarded the runs, took the match to a super over, and won from there.

Top Umpire Says That England Shouldn't Have Won Cricket World Cup
England rejoice after winning. Credit: PA

Fair and square. It's in the papers now.

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