Sheffield Shield 2020-21: Marnus Labuschagne's controversial catch sparks debate in cricket fraternity

Sheffield Shield 2020-21: Marnus Labuschagne’s controversial catch sparks debate in cricket fraternity

The umpire gave his decision in favour of the fielding team.

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Sheffield Shield clash between Queensland and New South Wales witnessed a big controversy on Saturday and sparked debate in the cricketing fraternity. Australia star Marnus Labuschagne was at the heart of the controversy. The incident took place right at the end of New South Wales’ innings. In fact, their innings ended in a controversial manner.

Cricket fans must have been scratching their heads when the on-field umpire adjudged Baxter Holt out following an awkward effort from Labuschagne. The NSW wicketkeeper was looking to hit Mitchell Swepson’s delivery over mid-on but could only miscue it towards cover. It looked like a regulation catch and Labuschagne caught the ball without any trouble whatsoever.

But within a fraction of a second, the drama unfolded. Soon after taking the catch, Labuschagne awkwardly tripped over his legs. And as he regained his balance, the ball slipped out of his hands and fell onto the turf. At that time, even one of the commentators was heard saying ‘dropped’ before stating that Labuschagne might have hold on to it long enough.

The other commentator, however, had doubts over the legitimacy of the catch as he said: “That was a little peculiar”. But despite some confusion in the commentary box, the on-field umpires awarded the wicket and players made their way back to the pavilion for the innings break.

Controversial catch triggers debate:

While Baxter Holt did not protest against the umpire’s decision, the cricket pundits were definitely not impressed with the official’s call. Several pundits believed the catch should have been disallowed, arguing that Labuschagne did not have control over the ball and his movement. The incident also drew comparisons to Herschelle Gibbs’ infamous dropped catch at the 1999 Cricket World Cup.

As per the rules: “The act of making a catch … shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”

Here are some reactions to the catch:

Talking about the game, Queensland finished day two on a strong note. At stumps, they were on 184 for 2 with Labuschagne batting on 81 and Usman Khawaja on 12. Earlier in their innings, Bryce Street scored a fifty while Joe Burns scored 15 before both of them were sent back by Nathan Lyon.

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