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Poetic justice? New Zealand's World Cup misfortune comes back to bite England

Thursday's denial was by no means karmic, but a sheer coincidence in the most unfortunate manner one that only calls for ICC to introspect on their existing rules. 

Aratrick Mondal Aratrick Mondal
New Delhi Published on: March 05, 2020 16:43 IST
(L) Eoin Morgan with the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup;
Image Source : GETTY

(L) Eoin Morgan with the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup; (R) Heather Knight of England looks on as heavy rain falls before the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup Semi Final match between India and England at Sydney Cricket Ground on March 05

"Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like" - Lemony Snicket in The Slippery Slope.

Two different summers, one at home and other Down Under, and England incur two different fates - both least expected, both arguably bizarre - yet handcuffed by the rules of ICC, the sides accepted their destiny. 

Only eight months back, England won their maiden ICC World Cup title after the unprecedented, exhilarating drama at the Lord's last July only to be denied by a chance at another on Thursday evening by another baffling rule of the ICC. 

On March 5, both India and England were welcomed to the Sydney Cricket Ground by heavy rainfall that refused to relent as match officials were forced to abandon the first semifinal of the Women's T20 World Cup. 

A day earlier, owing to the present weather conditions in Australia, especially that in Sydney, Cricket Australia had requested for a reserve day for the semifinal matches both of which were scheduled at the SCG. But the ICC turned down the request leaving India as eventual finalists after the washout by virtue of finishing their group stage with more points than England. 

"They're the rules that everyone signed up to," Heather Knight said after the sheer misfortune denied England a match against India, whom they have beaten five out of five times in T20 World Cup. And there were rules that everyone had signed up to at the ICC Men's World Cup last July, until fate had sliced New Zealand's grasp of the trophy.

In search for their maiden World Cup title, New Zealand took on England at the Home of Cricket on July 14. The scores remained tied, even the Super Over failed to decide the winner, such exhilarating was the contest. In the end, a bizarre and controversial boundary count rule handed England the trophy - the hosts managed 26 during the summit clash as against New Zealand's 17. What was even more painful was the controversial six runs which were awarded to England after a throw had ricocheted off the bat of a diving Ben Stokes, which many claims should have been five runs as per ICC rules pointed out by experts. 

Thursday's denial was by no means karmic, but a sheer coincidence in the most unfortunate manner one that only calls for ICC to introspect on their existing rules. 

"It's gutting. you put in a lot of hard work. There's not a lot we can do about it..we're just going to have to rue that first game and try to move on but it's going to be a bitter pill to swallow for a few of us now," Knight said before signing off.

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