British all-rounder Ben Stokes has reportedly stated that he did not ask the umpires to cancel the four overthrows which proved vital for England's win against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup final at Lords on July 16. The British all-rounder stated that he did not go up to umpires and said anything of that sort. He further claimed that he apologised to Kane Williamson and Tom Latham.
"I saw all of that. I was thinking to myself, did I say that? But hand on heart, I did not go up to the umpires and say something like that to the umpires," he was quoted as saying in a BBC podcast.
"I went straight to Tom Latham and said 'Mate, I am so sorry', looked over to Kane (Williamson) and said 'I'm sorry'," he further added.
The incident that happened during the final over of the tournament decider when England were chasing a target of 241. Stokes accidentally hit the ball while diving for a second run with the back of his bat. The ball got deflected and went to the third man boundary giving England six runs.
After consulting each other, Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus decided to give six runs which put England in the driver's seat. The hosts, before that ball, needed nine runs from three balls, after that incident their target was reduced to three runs of two balls. The all-rounder was seen putting his hands up in an apologetic manner for the incident.
Adding to the dismay of the players and fans of New Zealand, England went on to win the match and the tournament. The hosts won on account of hitting more boundaries after the scores were tied in the super over.
Earlier, British pace spearhead in Tests and Stokes teammate, James Anderson was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as telling BBC's Tailenders podcast claiming that the all-rounder asked the umpires to cancel the four overthrows.
"I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, 'Can you take that four runs off. We don't want it'," he said.
Stokes finally made it clear amid all the speculations that he did not ask the umpires anything of that sort. After the end of the World Cup, ICC was criticised by cricket fans and former cricketers from all over the world because of the unique rules that, according to them, ruined the final.