Australian cricketer Matt Renshaw’s incredible effort near the boundary line to dismiss Mathew Wade has stirred a major cricket controversy in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) 2019-20 at The Gabba on Thursday. A lot of confusion headlined Wade’s dismissal during an exciting T20 encounter between Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes.
The effort from Renshaw near the ropes not only left umpires bemused but also gave birth to a hot topic of debate among fans and experts about the laws of the game. On the final ball of the 15th over, Wade smashed a Ben Cutting delivery with full-throttle towards long-on. Stationed near the boundary, Renshaw took the catch at wide long-on from the opener but throw the ball in the air while losing balance.
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The ball then travelled over the boundary, which meant Renshaw, who was air-borne, was forced to throw it once again to keep the chances of the wicket alive. Having exited the field of play, Renshaw then jumped and – while mid-air – batted the ball to fellow boundary rider Banton, who caught it within the field of play.
Renshaw benefited from an unusual change to the laws of cricket in 2013 which forced Wade to walk towards the pavilion as he was given out after the umpires convened.
“I had no idea of the rule really — once he hit outside the field of play I didn’t know if he was allowed to touch the ball or not,” Wade told Channel 7 as quoted by www.cricket.com.au.
“Umpires said he was, and once they told me he was allowed to (go) outside the field of play and tap it back in, I knew I was out. It was pretty good work, I’m not sure he would’ve been able to have done that a few years ago.”
The Laws of Cricket were updated in October 2013. Clause ‘19.4 Ball beyond the boundary’ of the Laws of Cricket was updated in October 2013 for the explosion in boundary-line athleticism brought about by Twenty20 cricket. Under this clause, the catch is legal.
As long as the ball doesn’t touch the ground beyond the boundary rope, or is touched by a player that is touching the ground beyond the boundary rope, it is deemed to still be in play.
Law 33.2.1 reads: “A catch will be fair only if, in every case either the ball, at any time or any fielder in contact with the ball, is not grounded beyond the boundary before the catch is completed. Note Laws 19.4 (Ball grounded beyond the boundary) and 19.5 (Fielder grounded beyond the boundary).”
The laws also make it clear the player’s first contact with the ball must be made inside the boundary.