Michael Neser’s stunning catch in the Big Bash League match between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers was a point of discussion and controversy on Sunday.
Neser caught the ball, hit by Jordan Silk, within the boundary but had to step outside the boundary to complete the catch. He flicked the ball in the air before moving out of the permissible playing area.
After landing on ground beyond the boundary rope, Neser jumped in the air, caught the ball, threw it back inside the playing area and then moved inside the boundary to complete the dismissal.
The umpires deemed the effort to be fair and Silk was dismissed. The decision was discussed by fans on social media and they criticised the rule which deemed the effort legal.
Kate Cross and Simon Doull were among players who were baffled by the decision, with the latter terming the law allowing the catch as ‘terrible’.
According to Law 19.5.2 of the MCC, “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.”
MCC further tweeted, “The FIRST contact must be inside the boundary, and the fielder can’t be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time.”
Since Neser met both the criterion, the dismissal was deemed to be fair. The Sixers ultimately were bowled out for 209, handing a 15 run win for the Heat.
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