BBL 2019-20: James Neesham terms Matt Renshaw's controversial catch 'farcical'

BBL 2019-20: James Neesham terms Matt Renshaw’s controversial catch ‘farcical’

The third umpire took almost an eternity before deeming the catch legal.

Matt Renshaw's catch
Matt Renshaw’s catch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Athletic heroics are common nowadays, especially in the age of T20 cricket. Fielders can go to the farthest extreme of their capacity to deny runs to the batting side just as the batters apply all sort of pyrotechnics to collect runs. But on Thursday, one such heroic act in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) in Brisbane led to controversy after Matt Renshaw pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Matthew Wade (61).

It was in the clash between the Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes when the drama unfolded. In the penultimate delivery of the 15th over when Hurricanes skipper Wade went high over long-on off the bowling of pacer Ben Cutting. Renshaw then grabbed the descending ball on the rope and tossed it up while stepping out.

The ball was still dropping over the ropes and the fielder jumped and batted while still air-borne and transferred it to Tom Banton. The field umpires took the case to the third umpire as it was unclear whether the catch was proper. The third umpire took a look and gave Wade out. Even though the catch was deemed legal under Law 19.5, it created confusion as well.

New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham gave a hint that he was not in favour of the decision that went against Wade. “I’ve got no problem with where he left from. It’s where he ends up. After he touches the ball he needs to end up back in the field of play. If that’s not the rule then the whole thing is farcical and the rule needs to change,” he wrote in a tweet.

When journalist Elizabeth Ammon said: “The law is basically as long as player isn’t in contact with ground when he parries it to other dude it doesn’t matter where he lands,” Neesham replied her, saying: “Well then that’s stupid. So I can just endlessly jump up and down on the spot over the boundary patting the ball up in the air until another fielder runs over to me then tap it to him?”

Wade would not have been out before 2013

It was only the change of rule made in 2013 that made Wade leave the ground on Thursday. In October 2013, the Laws of Cricket were updated to make the catches that were taken by Renshaw legal. Wade’s dismissal left the Hurricanes in trouble and they could manage only 126 for 9 and despite a good comeback, they lost to Heat by five wickets.