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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Matt Renshaw's par boundary catch takes Cricket World by storm !

Life has changed a lot – some players are supremely fit – Virat Kohli, Sir Jadeja .. .. long ago, Indians were not athletic – the likes of Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Ashok Malhotra .. .. earlier there were some good close in catchers – Eknath Solkar, Abid Ali, S Venkatraghavan.  Brijesh Patel was good in covers – then Yashpal Sharma – in 1977, a catch that Madanlal took (as a substitute) to dismiss Peter Toohey was much talked about – and none can forget that supremely athletic catch that Kapil Dev took off Madanlal to dismiss King Viv Richards in 1983 finals on 25th June 1983. ~ now a catch of Renshaw has taken Cricketing world by storm !

There are varied opinions - Black Caps all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has led calls for a rule change stating that to be a  controversial catch in Thursday night's Big Bash League match in Brisbane. Hobart Hurricanes batsman Matthew Wade was doing his best to propel their team to a defendable total against the home team when he found Matthew Renshaw on the mid-on boundary. Renshaw's self-described "assist" was the talking point though, Wade admitting he was one of many on the field unaware that a 2013 rule change meant it was a fair catch.  Neesham describing the play as "farcical" and gaining support from former Black Cap Scott Styris and ex-Australian batsman Dean Jones. "I've got no problem with where he left from. It's where he ends up. After he touches the ball he needs to end up back in the field of play," Neesham wrote on Twitter.

Renshaw’s incredible Big Bash catch has sparked calls for changes to the rules of cricket. Matthew Wade was caught on the boundary in a two-man effort by Matt Renshaw and Tom Banton in a match between the Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat at The Gabba. Renshaw caught the ball inside the boundary but, feeling his momentum taking him out of play, threw it up in the air. While the ball was outside the boundary but still in the air, he jumped up from the ground beyond the boundary  and tapped it back inside the field of play and into the hands of Banton.

-        Of recent times, catches by fielders in deep – taking the catch air-borne or while running and releasing it to their team mates – the fielder crossing the boundary has been witnessed.  It is athleticism at its best with presence of mind

This too was a splendid effort by Renshaw and is  legal because Renshaw first touched the ball inside the boundary and was not touching the ground when he tapped it from outside the field – in between, he had firmly landed outside the boundary, ball was on air, he jumped, tapped it towards the fielder.  After Banton took the catch, Renshaw looked confused and later admitted he did not know the rule. The on-field umpire told Wade the catch was legal and the Hurricanes batsman walked off. Meanwhile, the decision was referred to the third umpire who initially ruled it not out before correcting the decision to out.

After the match, Wade said: 'It's a bit of a strange one, we play a lot of sports where you can't come from outside the field of play and touch the ball again'.  'But I've got no grudges… nobody's talked about it until this point so it hasn't been much of an issue. Renshaw said he did not know the rule and that is parry back to Banton was accidental.

The Lord's committee, which sets the rules, tweeted: 'Amazing catch today in the @BBL !Under Law 19.5, the catch is deemed lawful. 'The key moment is when he first touches the ball, which is inside the boundary. He's airborne for his second contact.' The catch divided fans on social media with many saying the rule should be changed to stop fielders leaving the field of play.

Cricket rules 19.4 and 19.5 on boundaries
19.4 Ball grounded beyond the boundary
19.4.1 The ball in play is grounded beyond the boundary if it touches
- the boundary or any part of an object used to mark the boundary;
- the ground beyond the boundary;
- any object that is grounded beyond the boundary.
19.4.2 The ball in play is to be regarded as being grounded beyond the boundary if
- a fielder, grounded beyond the boundary as in 19.5, touches the ball;
- a fielder, after catching the ball within the boundary, becomes grounded beyond the boundary while in contact with the ball, before completing the catch.
19.5 Fielder grounded beyond the boundary
19.5.1 A fielder is grounded beyond the boundary if some part of his/her person is in contact with any of the following:
- the boundary or any part of an object used to mark the boundary;
- the ground beyond the boundary;
- any object that is in contact with the ground beyond the boundary;
- another fielder who is grounded beyond the boundary, if the umpire considers that it was the intention of either fielder that the contact should assist in the fielding of the ball.
19.5.2 A fielder who is not in contact with the ground is considered to be grounded beyond the boundary if his/her final contact with the ground, before his/her first contact with the ball after it has been delivered by the bowler, was not entirely within the boundary.

So everyone was confused - Matthew Renshaw's juggling boundary-line effort  left umpires and fans flummoxed, with the Heat fielder capitalising on an unusual change to the Laws of cricket some six years ago.  The Laws of Cricket were updated in October 2013 to make catches like that from Renshaw legal. The change brought  for the explosion in boundary-line athleticism brought about by Twenty20 cricket. Under this clause, the catch is legal. The rule has caused controversy in the past, most famously involving Glenn Maxwell, who took a classic catch at Headingley in an ODI against England back in September 2015 by utilising his knowledge of the rule.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Jan 2020.

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