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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK

Final: Australia v Sri Lanka
Barbados, 28 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog



By Paresh Soni
BBC Sport in Barbados

Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Billy Bowden and Steve Bucknor
The two captains were left as confused as the spectators

Match referee Jeff Crowe has admitted that a blunder by him and the umpires caused the farcical scenes at the end of the World Cup final.

When Sri Lanka and Australia came off for bad light with three overs left, they were told the game would have to be completed the next day.

The two captains instead opted to finish the game in near darkness.

"The game was technically over because a 20-over match had been completed," Crowe acknowledged.

606: DEBATE
BF

"This was a mistake on our behalf as the playing control team."

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said afterwards that he knew the rules but the umpires had insisted they would have to come back on Sunday.

"We were all confused ourselves as to what the right direction was and how we were going to play it. In hindsight I should have known the rules and the game should been called off at that point," said Crowe.

Jeff Crowe
Is this a resignation issue? I'll have to talk to my superiors

Jeff Crowe

"It's a human error. A lot of us talk into the audio system we have on field and in our room. Sometimes you get a stronger voice that says 'I know the rules' and then you get confusion and no-one wants to overrule the other.

"I should have known and said 'That's not right. The game should be completed now'.

"We got our minds clouded over that whole simple issue. That was some voices reiterating what they felt was the right way to approach the end of the game and that was incorrect."

Despite admitting he was embarrassed for his team, Crowe said he would not resign and refused to blame off-field umpire Rudi Koertzen for believing the game could be completed on Sunday.

"Is this a resignation issue? I'll have to talk with my superiors on that," former New Zealand captain Crowe said.

"I hope not, it was a great thrill to be selected for this event but I guess you're always accountable and I am manager of the playing control team. What happened was my responsibility.

It was unfortunate, a very sad way to finish the World Cup

Malcolm Speed

"We are a team, I want to reiterate that there were lot of voices heard throughout that time about what was the right method.

"It's a collective thing, we shouldn't pinpoint one or two people.

"I don't think it's Rudi's mistake. I think it's a collective mistake. Maybe Rudi might have suggested it early but that doesn't mean the two on-field umpires couldn't have overruled him," Crowe added.

International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed admitted the tournament finale had not done the sport any favours, but insisted no rash decisions would be made.

"It was unfortunate, a very sad way to finish the World Cup," said Speed, who was hit on the head by a falling ICC logo at the start of the news conference.

"I hope we can recall the great day's cricket we had before this very unfortunate ending.

"The umpires and the playing control team and Jeff Crowe had earned the right to umpire in the World Cup final because they are outstanding umpires and an outstanding referee.

"They certainly do have a future in the game - we're not going to overreact to this."

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