Harleen Deol stole the limelight by pulling off a sensational catch at the boundary to dismiss Amy Jones in the T20I series opener between India and England at Northampton. While the Indian star received praise and accolades from all over the world for her stunning effort on the ropes, her catch would not have qualified if the rules were not amended in 2013.
So this is what transpired in Northampton.
Deol caught the ball inside the boundary, released the ball back into the air before momentum carried her beyond the rope, and then leapt from outside the field of play to catch the ball before landing back inside the boundary.
There was some confusion with the dismissal as Deol’s final touch with the ground before completing the catch came outside the field of play. However, according to the current Laws of the Game, Deol’s catch was legal.
A fantastic piece of fielding 👏We finish our innings on 177/7
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 9, 2021
Law 33.2.1 states: “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.”
Also, Law 19.5.2 states: “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.”
In Deol’s case, she is not deemed “grounded beyond the boundary” as her final contact with the ground before her first contact with the ball was entirely within the boundary. It is irrelevant that her final contact with the ground before her next contact with the ball came outside the boundary.
There was a change to the laws in 2013 and more clarity was achieved in terms of boundary catches. However, some players still want the rules to be tweaked further and one of them is Glenn Maxwell who actually benefited from the modified law in an ODI against England in 2015.
“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense. I think you should have to get back into the boundary. I think if you look at the basketball rule. You have to jump from inside to throw it back in, you can’t jump up in the air and catch it on the way back in. You’ve got to make sure your feet have landed inside the court and I think it should be the same in cricket. But while we’re taking catches on our side it doesn’t really bother me, but I know if I was a batsman I’d be pretty upset if that was the dismissal. You’ve just got to play the rules you’re given," quoted Maxwell back then.