Watch: Micheal Neser’s catch against Sydney Sixers sparks debate

Team Udayavani, Jan 2, 2023, 4:16 PM IST

Image credit: Twitter/ video screengrab

Micheal Neser, the pacer for Brisbane Heat, took a stunning catch to dismiss Sydney Sixers batter Jordan Silk from outside the boundary area, raising many eyebrows.

Jordan Silk’s attempt to clear long-off at the Gabba was intercepted by Neser’s brilliant athleticism, one which saw him complete a juggling effort at the boundary line.

Neser caught the ball and tossed it up when he realised he would cross over the boundary rope. While outside the boundary, Neser timed his jump to perfection and palmed the ball back inside the boundary without touching the ground and eventually returned back into the field of play to complete the catch.

After checking the replays, the umpires finally deemed it as a fair catch but the element of confusion reigned supreme among players, commentators, and fans.

So, what do the laws of cricket say about such juggling catches over the boundary rope? 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.”

It is important to note that as long as the fielder’s first touch of the ball is inside the boundary line, they are allowed to finish the catch however they like, provided their feet are not grounded with the ball over the boundary.

Neser’s initial contact with the ball, the timing of his jump, and the eventual catch were all within the laws of the game, the batter was correctly declared out.

Social media was abuzz with conversations surrounding the ICC rules that allowed such a dismissal. While many praised the cricketer for his presence of mind. “Sorry, but I love this catch Michael Neser took and the law that allowed it. If you’re brilliant enough to do that, it should be rewarded,” Stat Doctor founder Rohit Sankar in a Twitter post.

While others called it unfair and demanded a change in the rule.

(With ANI inputs)

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