The match referee Jeff Crowe took the blame for the farcical finish to the World Cup final which saw Australia celebrate victory twice and forced Sri Lanka to bat in pitch-black darkness. But he suggested the third umpire Rudi Koertzen may have initiated the process leading to chaotic scenes at the climax of the game.
Crowe, despite heading up a team of officials which included the umpire Steve Bucknor, standing in a record fifth World Cup final, managed to overlook a basic playing condition which states that once 20 overs have been bowled in both innings enough cricket has been played to create a match. A result can then be declared under the Duckworth-Lewis system for rain-affected games.
I know that freakin' rule! How could the referee confuse that! The whole point of the D/L method is to have a result in a game even if 60% of the total overs are lost due to whatever reason. The fact that "the experts" messed up in the World Cup final is hugely embarrassing.
Ponting joked: "If the umpires don't know, I don't know. It appeared we had a premature celebration for the best part of ten minutes. I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we'd have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: 'Mate, we've played the 20 overs, we've actually finished the game.'"