The World Cup final ran into confusion before the first ball was bowled. The coin had to be tossed twice after the match referee Jeff Crowe said he had not heard Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara's call the first time. The Wankhede Stadium was not yet filled to its 33,000 capacity, and the noise was yet to reach its peak. Commentator Ravi Shastri, who was hosting the toss, said it had fallen heads the first time. There were then a few moments of confusion as Crowe said he had not heard the call and so the toss that had been carried out was null and void. When MS Dhoni threw up the coin again, Sangakkara called 'heads' and the coin fell Sri Lanka's way.

Replays of the toss indicated that Sangakkara called heads the first time as well, and the call is audible to producers of the host broadcasters ESPN-Star Sports. Sangakkara's head was lowered when he called. However, Dhoni appears to have heard it as a tails call, and he turned towards Shastri saying, "We'll bat". But neither Shastri nor Crowe had heard Sangakkara's call, Crowe due to the noise and Shastri because he was looking up at the coin. When Shastri looked across to Crowe, the referee said, "I didn't hear it." There was then a brief conversation and it was decided the toss had to be held again.

Crowe was also the match referee at the 2007 World Cup final when the teams went off for bad light but were to forced to return and play out the remaining overs in darkness. He had overseen a mistake by the officials that led to the game resuming in near total darkness. The officials had forgotten that, as 20 overs had been bowled in the second innings, a result could be declared. Crowe, when pressed at a post-match news conference, blamed that error on now retired South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, who was the television replay official for that match.