Cricket: Aussie Big Bash scraps boundary-countback rule after Blackcaps debacle

Martin Guptill is comforted after the Blackcaps lost the Cricket World Cup
Martin Guptill is comforted after the Blackcaps lost the Cricket World Cup. Photo credit: Photosport

Australia's Big Bash League has scrapped the contentious boundary-countback rule that helped England to 'victory' over New Zealand in this year's Cricket World Cup final.

Instead, if a playoff match ends tied, the T20 competition - and its women's equivalent - will play multiple 'super overs' until clear winners are found.

The Blackcaps fell foul of the controversial rule, when they finished the World Cup final at Lord's with the same number of runs as the home side and were still even after one 'super over'.

Tournament regulations called a countback of boundaries to determine the winners, with England achieving 24 and New Zealand 16.

No-one - apart from England supporters - was happy with the outcome and Cricket Australia seems intent on avoiding the same situation occurring in its summer showpiece.

While the men's 20-over competition has never needed the tiebreak rule, the Women's Big Bash has seen two boundary countbacks over its four-year history.

The new rule calls for an "unlimited amount" of super overs in playoff matches, but where "unavoidable time restraints" occur, the higher-placed team would be declared winners.

If a regular-season match is tied, teams would share competition points. 

"The super over has been a discussion point globally, after the ICC Cricket World Cup final," says Big Bash Leagues head Alistair Doson. 

"The WBBL04 semi-final between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Renegades gave us valuable insight into the feelings of teams and fans towards super overs.

"We hope that allowing for multiple super overs in WBBL and BBL finals will provide our teams and fans with the best possible experience." 

Despite the unsatisfactory finish to its men's one-day tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC) seems likely to retain the boundary countback for this summer's women's T20 World Cup.

ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice told ESPN that its cricket committee would review "issues arising from the World Cup final" at its next meeting in early 2020, which could see changes for the men's T20 World Cup next October-November.


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