London : Social media channels were abuzz on Sunday over a catch by Australia’s Michael Neser during a Big Bash League (BBL12) match between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers at Brisbane with many people questioning its legality.
Neser caught Jordan Silk off the run by the boundary rope, released the ball upon jumping over the rope, threw it back into the field of play mid-air and collected the loose ball after crossing into the field.
Neser’s mid-air juggling act outside the boundary rope is being questioned as the ball was outside the field of play. The video umpire had to watch many replays before confirming that the Australian seamer had not touched the ground outside the rope while in contact with the ball.
But it was still a decision that had left many people questioning its legality. One reason why some people were questioning the legality of the match was the match situation.
The incident occurred at a crucial juncture of the match, when the Sixers, who were chasing 225 at the Gabba, needed 20 runs off 10 deliveries. If instead of being confirmed as a catch, it was adjudged as a six, the Sydney team could have gone on to win the match.
The Marylebone Cricket Club has now confirmed the decision to approve Michael Neser’s catch, thus putting to rest the debate. In a post on Twitter, the MCC directed users to its rules clarifying the laws.
“The key points are: 1) The FIRST contact must be inside the boundary, and 2) the fielder can’t be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time,” the club, which was founded in 1787 and is the custodian of the cricket rules, said.
The clarification included footage from broadcaster Channel 7 in which Melbourne Stars captain and Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell explained the decision. In the clip, Maxwell said, “If he makes the first contact from where he jumped inside the rope, and then when the last contact is made, he back inside the rope it’s out.”
“As long as when he threw it up a second time his feet were in the air, the last point of contact has to be back in. “Effectively, he could throw it up 300 times as long as his feet are in the air,” Maxwell explained.