I recall reading about a limited overs tournament, in which if teams had equal points after the the league stage, the qualification for next round would be based on batting run rate only (or maybe, it was the aggregate runs scored, don't remember exactly).

In the last game of the league, team A needed to win and score about 260 runs. Team B won the toss, and captain had a clever idea. He chose to bat first and declared the innings on 1/0 (one run without loss). Of course, team A won easily, but they couldn't score the required 260-odd runs, and so team B's goal was met.

The writer also mentioned that this loophole abuse led to two changes in playing conditions:

  1. Limited overs innings could not be declared any more.
  2. Tournament-based competitions adopted the net run rate qualification (that is, the bowling run rate also came into the calculations).

I have tried hard to search for the details of this game, but I cannot seem to find it. I can only remember that it was an English domestic tournament. Could someone please help me identify this game?


1 Answer 1


I suspect the incident you're thinking of is one from the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1979, when Brian Rose, the captain of Somerset, declared his side's innings closed with one run on the board and no wickets down after one over in his team's final group match against Worcestershire. The situation was that the only way that Somerset could possibly not qualify for the quarter-finals would be if they lost and at the same time their bowling strike-rate (which was the tie-break used at the time) worsened, as well as Glamorgan winning their match. As Worcestershire scored the required two runs in ten balls, Somerset's bowling strike rate was not significantly worsened, so they qualified for the quarter finals.

Or... they would have qualified, except that the Test and Country Cricket Board, the controlling body for cricket in England at the time, expelled Somerset from the competition, with Glamorgan taking their place. Ironically, Glamorgan's final match the in group stage had been washed out, so Somerset would have qualified no matter what happened if they had just played the match.

Once you know the match, it's fairly easy to find additional commentary on the incident, for example the second half of the I do declare article at Cricinfo, which includes the amusing fact that even Somerset voted to expel themselves from the competition.


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