What initially seemed like a brilliant effort and great co-ordination amongst teammates at the boundary under pressure at the Gabba in the Big Bash League has created quite a bit of controversy with former players asking for a reconsideration of rules.
Matthew Renshaw left umpires and fans bemused as the laws of the game had to be referred to before the batsman was eventually given out in a game between Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat.
Renshaw took the catch at long-on when Hobart Hurricanes’ Matthew Wade went looking for a big hit. Renshaw caught it at the the boundary and had to throw the ball in the air as he lost balance and went outside the fence. The ball by then travelled over the boundary.
Having exited the field of play, Renshaw then jumped and - while mid-air - batted the ball to Tom Banton, who caught it within the field of play, as per Cricket Australia’s official website.
Renshaw benefited from an unusual change to the laws of cricket some six years ago which forced Wade to walk towards the pavilion as he was given out after the umpires convened.
Matthew Wade has to go after this spectacular effort from Matt Renshaw that will lead to plenty of debate about the Laws of Cricket! #BBL09 pic.twitter.com/wGEN8BtF5u— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 9, 2020
“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 to make catches like the one Renshaw effected, legal.
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 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.