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Catch controversy hits cricket pitch with Neser in focus

Experts and fans are divided over the catch by Neser. Questions have cropped up after the clip of the catch in question went viral.

Arjun Singh | New Delhi |

Yet another on field controversy has put millions of cricket fans across the world in a state of confusion. The epicenter was the Big Bash League where Michael Neser had a catch creating chaos on New Year’s Day. Experts and fans are divided over the catch by Neser. Questions have cropped up after the clip of the catch in question went viral.

The catch was stunning indeed in the ongoing season of the Big Bash League between Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat where Michael Neser was stealing the show. What came as a surprise was not just batsman Jordan Silk and bowler Mark Steketee, but even the umpires were caught in a dicey situation. Later, Jordan Silk was considered out and was told to head back to the pavilion. But this did not stop there, rather erupted in big debates for the coming few days.

Notably, Jordan attempted to clear the long-off at the Gabba but the ball that seemed to head towards the boundary comfortably saw Nesser coming out of nowhere and grabbing the ball. He later could not stop himself in the momentum and thus tossed the ball up before it hit the boundary.

Unlike what happens, most of the time, when such stunners are taken, the ball goes outside the boundary rope rather than going inside the field. But what came as an unexpected move by Michael, he caught the ball again but this time, outside the boundary by jumping in air and released it inside the field before his feet touched the ground.

Showing an exemplary presence of mind, he then went back inside the field and grabbed the ball comfortably and started celebrating. Boom! This was exceptional from him.

After several replay checks, later it was finally decided by the umpires that it was a fair catch, and the batsman was told to head back to the pavilion much to the utter confusion of the top players and commentators alike.

Moreover, if we have look at the ICC rules, 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.”

Thus, both the major requirements, firstly contact must be inside the boundary and secondly, the fielder should not be touching the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time were fulfilled in this catch.

Eventually, the catch can, considerably, be termed as legal and the effort that was put in from Nesser should be appreciated in a wider aspect. Such catches indeed, show as to how much and at what level the presence of mind this game requires.