The Australian bowler, Michael Neser was involved in a controversial catch during the Big Bash League’s game between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers, and the catch created a buzz in the entire cricketing world talking. Neser’s outstanding athleticism helped him to comeple a juggling catch on the boundary line when Jordan Silk attempted to clear long-off at the Gabba.
Michael Neser took the catch near the boundary line, released the ball while hopping over the rope, threw it back into the playing field with a jump mid-air, and finally picked up the loose ball after entering back into the playing area. The controversial incident took place when Sixers needed 26 runs off of 11 deliveries to win the game.
The scenario would have changed to 20 off 10 deliveries, and then the Sixers would’ve standed a chance to win if the catch had been ruled illegal. However, the umpire signaled it was a clean catch and declared it out. Though it was a brilliant attempt by Neser, the act was severely criticized on social media, and fans have been questioning if it was fair play.
MCC finally settled the discussion by confirming Neser’s catch as legal. Taking to social media, the MCC, in a Twitter post, pointed users to its guidelines outlining the restrictions and wrote: “The key points are: 1) The FIRST contact must be inside the boundary, and 2) the fielder can’t be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time.”
The key points are:
1) The FIRST contact must be inside the boundary, and
2) the fielder can’t be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time.#MCCLaws
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) January 1, 2023
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.”
Also, rule 19.4.2 under the MCC Laws of Cricket states, “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.”
It is important to note that the fielder has the right to catch the ball any way possible as long as the ball is first grabbed inside the boundary line and their feet are not grounded while the ball is over the line. The batter was rightfully ruled out since Neser’s initial touch with the ball was inside the l9ne, the timing of his jump, and the subsequent catch were all in accordance with the rules of the game.