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ICC apologises for farcical WC final

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed feels sorry for the rain-marred, farcical WC final but says won't blacklist officials.

cricket Updated: Apr 30, 2007 17:23 IST

International Cricket Council Chief Executive Malcolm Speed has apologised for the farcical end to Saturday's World Cup final but ruled out blacklisting the erring officials.

"It was an unnecessary error, a fundamental error. It was made under difficult circumstances at the end of the match."

"It was unfortunate, a very sad way to finish the World Cup. I hope we can recall the great day's cricket we had before this very unfortunate ending," Speed said at the Kensington Oval on Sunday.

Flanked by ICC General Manager David Richardson, Speed said, "David and I are here today on behalf of ICC to say to the wider stakeholders of the game that we too are very sorry this incident occurred at the end of what, on any view, had been an outstanding day of cricket." In the rain-marred final, on-field umpires Steve Bucknor, standing in his record fifth World Cup final, and Aleem Dar overlooked the fact that once 20 overs had been bowled in both the innings, a result should have been declared under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Instead, they made the teams return to the field to play another three overs in semi-darkness at the end of which Australia won the match beating Sri Lanka by 53 runs.

Despite the embarrassing goof-up, Speed, however, ruled out an immediate censure for the playing-control unit, which also included third umpire Rudy Koertzen, reserve official Billy Bowden and match referee Jeff Crowe.

"They certainly do have a future in the game. We are not going to over-react to this. The umpires and Jeff Crowe, they had earned the right to umpire in the World Cup Final because they are outstanding umpires and an outstanding referee."