England Celebrates Cricket World Cup Win on Controversial Tie Breaker, Aussie Bookie Returns Bets on New Zealand

Posted on: July 15, 2019, 09:47h. 

Last updated on: July 15, 2019, 09:47h.

Cricket is a game that famously perplexes Americans for its ability to go on for days and still end in a draw. But while the Cricket World Cup matches are brief, relatively speaking — a series of one-day games — rarely has there been a better example of two teams being so equally matched and equally brilliant than at Sunday’s final between England and New Zealand. Many even felt the teams should have shared the trophy.

Cricket World Cup
England’s Jos Buttler celebrates after running out Martin Guptill of New Zealand. While the final was a thrilling game of cricket, many, including Sportingbet, believe it should have been a draw. (Image: AP)

But there had to be a winner. And while Djokavic and Federer were duking it out in a tie-break of their own across town, at London’s famous Lords cricket ground the match had entered “Super Over” phase – kind of like cricket’s version of a penalty shootout.

Super Overs consist of six more balls for each team, with the team with the most runs scored at the end of the tie-break winning the match – a concept baseball fans can easily get their heads around, unlike some of the more arcane rules of the game.

‘Complete Disgrace’

But after a nail-biting tie-break the teams remained tied. No one knew quite what would happen next, simply because this had never happened before.

Ultimately, England was crowned champion because it had hit more “boundaries” during the game – baseball fans, think “home runs” – a decision that has infuriated certain countries of the Southern Hemisphere.

Australian online betting company Sportingbet said it would return all bets placed on New Zealand to win, some A$426,223 ($300,000), according to The New Zealand Herald, calling the decision a “complete disgrace.”

Let’s not beat around the bush, for a World Cup to be decided in that manner is an absolute disgrace, and the punters shouldn’t have to pay for the ineptness of the ICC (International Cricket Council),” fumed Sportingbet in an official statement.

Surprisingly, until yesterday, England had never won the Cricket World Cup in the tournament’s 44-year history, despite being the country that invented the game and exported it across the world. Rather, the World Cup has long been a platform for British Commonwealth countries to wreak gleeful revenge on the former colonial master.

Indian Black Market Makes Hay

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that it’s not just the English who are celebrating. Cricket-crazy India may have failed to make it passed the semi-finals this year, but illegal bookmakers in the country see the tournament as something of a “festival,” according to one such operator who spoke to the broadcaster on condition of anonymity.

Sports betting is illegal in most of India, despite its popularity with all sectors of society. It’s estimated that more than $190 million in illegal bets are placed on each one-day international involving India’s cricket team, although figures from the unregulated markets are unreliable.

Did you know…? The first international cricket match took place in 1844 between the USA and Canada in Manhattan. It was watched by 5,000 and it has been estimated that up to $100,000 was bet on the match – some $2 million in today’s money. Canada won, which is perhaps why Americans stopped caring about cricket.