Drama at the boundary

The dismissal of Matthew Wade in the Big Bash sparked a lot of controversy and confusion. Umpiring and laws supremo Paddy O' Hara clarifies the situation.

The Editor has sent me this You-tube video from the Big Bash in Oz, a trail of associated Twitter comments and has asked me to clarify the situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSzPB10zDus

I suppose that some people, not overly familiar with the game and how it is played, could have been left wondering if they had seen a passage of play that might have had one of four outcomes :-

  • (i) a fair catch
  • (ii) a boundary 6
  • (iii) a boundary 4
  • (iv) or none of the above and the ball still in play.

It was, in fact, a fair catch and a wonderful example of quick thinking, real athleticism, brilliant skill and great drama for the spectators – just what cricket needs for its fans.

It is a shame that the Twitter response left only a trail of confusion , with a few perceptive/accurate comments being ‘drowned out’ by ill-informed and facile rants.

It was disappointing that some of these came from current cricketers, even professional players !.

The final decision, which was correctly referred to the TV umpire, for confirmation of the on-field umpires` ‘Out’ opinion, was badly mis-handled by this official. His initial ‘Not out’ response was followed by a corrected ‘Out’ decision, following further promptings from his colleagues. He allegedly claimed later that he did not know the Law! A very embarrassing situation indeed, if true.

For the avoidance of doubt, the sequence of events is as follows :-

  • 1. The fielder`s first contact with the ball must be within the field of play - it was.
  • 2. Realising that he could not stop himself from grounding his foot on or over the boundary line with the ball still in his hand, he threw the ball up in the air – thus not conceding a boundary.
  • 3. As it transpired, this throw was not going to land back inside the field of play, so he had to jump off the ground and palm the ball back into the field of play - still no boundary.
  • 4. He himself could have got back inside the boundary and caught the ball before it hit the ground – Out Caught.
  • 5. Another fielder who was inside the boundary could have caught the ball, as happened in this instance – Out Caught.
  • 6. Or, if the ball had not been caught and had landed on the field of play, a boundary would not have been scored but the ball would have remained in play, and further runs could have been completed by the two batsmen.

This aspect of the modern game is by no means a one off. There have been lots of similar examples recorded on camera, mostly in the various T/20 competitions, especially the IPL in India.

Great theatre and great excitement.