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    Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Final - New Zealand v England - Lord's, London, Britain - July 14, 2019   England's Ben Stokes in action

    ‘Bat of God’: Cricket Fans Link English Player’s Controversial Dive to Diego Maradona’s Stunt

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    During a 1986 Soccer World Cup match between Argentina and England, Argentine striker Diego Maradona did not think twice before handling the ball into the net, in what he described as "a hand of God" to help his team to make it to the tournament’s semi-finals.

    The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup saw a dramatic encounter between England and New Zealand, in which English player Ben Stokes scored four runs in a manner that clearly violated the game’s rules but added to his team winning the trophy.

    Stokes later admitted that he had already extended apologies to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for the moment.

    “I said to Kane I’ll be apologising for that for the rest of my life”, Stokes noted, referring to his desperate slide to reach his crease that resulted in the ball hitting Stokes’s bat and rolling to the boundary behind the English rival’s keeper.

    Stokes immediately put his hands up to show that he had not deliberately hit the ball and the umpires finally announced that his four runs would be counted.

    Cricket fans were quick to call the incident a "Bat of God”, drawing parallels between Stokes and Argentine football star Diego Maradona.

    “If ever there was an argument for a divine intervention in the last moment of a sports match...the ball ricocheting of Ben Stoke’s bat for 4, would be it! Total freak inconceivable “Act of God” event!” one user tweeted.

    The fans were referring to a quarter-final between Argentina and England at the 1986 Soccer World Cup, in which Maradona scored one of his goals by punching the ball into the net past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

    The goal was counted in the face of furious protests from England’s team which finally yielded to Argentina 1-2 in the encounter.


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