The European Cricket Series (ECS) returns on February 8 (Monday) in Spain with its first league of the 2021 edition.
You would have surely heard about the Super Over and witnessed it in several leagues such as IPL, PSL, World Cup, etc. Perhaps the most memorable such instance is the Super Over during the 2019 World Cup final between England and New Zealand.
After a tie in the Super Over, the winner was decided based on boundaries scored in the match. England were finally declared winners of the 2019 World Cup as they scored more boundaries than their opponents.
Several fans weren't happy with this rule as it turned out to be a controversial one. The ICC revoked the existing rule and introduced multiple Super Overs rules.
Surprisingly, the organizers of the European Cricket Series (ECS) had a different plan in mind. They introduced the 'Golden Ball' concept which replaced the role of 'Super Over'.
What is the Golden Ball in ECS?
The Golden Ball is a new & interesting concept that came into existence due to the European Cricket Network (ECN).
The Golden Ball usually takes place three minutes post the end of the match.
When a match ends in a tie, the chasing side gets to play an additional ball. They have to score two runs or more to win the match. If the chasing side score one run or fail to get any run, they end up losing. A wicket in the Golden Ball will also end in defeat for the chasing team.
Any batsmen who haven't been dismissed can face the Golden Ball, while the non-striker should also be a player who hasn't been dismissed in the innings.
If the chasing team gets all-out, then the player who remains not-out will take the strike, whereas the last batsman to be dismissed will be at the non-striker's end.
The bowler who bowled the last ball of the innings will have to bowl the Golden Ball from the same end. The only exception to this is when the existing bowler is injured.
In case of a no-ball, one run will be added to the batting side followed by a free-hit ball. If the bowler delivers a wide ball, the batting side will be awarded a run and will get to play another ball.
The Golden Ball will be canceled only if play is interrupted due to rain or bad light. In that case, the winner will be decided by picking up lots.
Basically, there is no tie in ECS, be it a league phase game or a knockout game. They have a winner for every single match that's played.
When did the first Golden Ball take place in ECS?
The first Golden Ball in ECS took place during the ECS T10 Alicante, back in March 2020, in a match between Madrid United CC and Levante CC.
Madrid United got 16 runs off the final over, which led to the first ever Golden Ball in the history of ECS.
Madrid United's Waqar Zafar attempted a shot in the Golden Ball which took the edge of his bat and flew to the third man boundary, thus taking his side to victory.
“This finish could have gone either way, the Madrid batsman was actually pretty lucky off the edge,” ECS commentator Vinny Sandhu said.