Sri Lanka – Australia cup final bunglers rapped

LONDON, June 22, 2007 (AFP) – All five officials involved in the bungled end to the World Cup final will not feature in September’s inaugural World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa, the International Cricket Council announced Friday.

Australia’s victory against Sri Lanka in the showpiece match in Barbados on April 28 was overshadowed by a farcical climax brought about by a failure to apply a standard playing condition.

Match referee Jeff Crowe, experienced on-field umpires Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar and two more senior figures in third umpire Rudi Koertzen and reserve official Billy Bowden incorrectly ruled, after a stoppage for bad light, the game had to continue even though the required minimum of 20 overs in the second innings had by then already been bowled.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, whose side were in a commanding position, and Sri Lanka counterpart Mahela Jayawardene both knew the match had ended.

But the officials insisted Sri Lanka bat out the final three overs of the game in ridiculous conditions because of a baseless fear that, if they didn’t, Sunday’s reserve day would be required.

Following an investigation by ICC cricket manager David Richardson, the former South Africa wicket-keeper, the