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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Watch: Catch deemed illegal for ‘intended assist’ from outside boundary

One of the more unusual laws of cricket were invoked when a catch taken at the boundary rope was deemed illegal because the player had been in contact with one of his teammates who had crossed the line.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: September 19, 2021 3:05:55 pm
Cricket - T20 Blast Finals Day - Final - Kent Spitfires v Somerset - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - September 18, 2021 Kent's Jordan Cox and Daniel Bell-Drummond collide to concede 6 runs (Source: Reuters)

Vitality T20 Blast: Jordan Cox thought he had taken a clean catch, before one of cricket’s rarer laws were invoked, deeming the catch illegal because of his teammate who had tried to help.

One of the more unusual laws of cricket were invoked during the final of the T20 Blast between Somerset and Kent on Saturday night, when a catch taken at the boundary rope by Kent’s Jordan Cox was deemed illegal because he had been in contact with one of his teammates who had crossed the line.

The incident happened in the 10th over of Somerset’s chase, with the game evenly poised and 97 runs needed in 60 balls. Will Smeed pulled a ball by Joe Denly in the air towards Cox at deep midwicket. Cox moved to his right and took a clean catch, and the batsmen started walking back. However, the umpires stopped the batsman soon after and were seen in communication with the third umpire. The problem seemed to be the fielder who had run in from fine leg, Daniel Bell-Drummond, and dived into Cox’s feet, being in contact with him when Cox took the catch.

Mark Butcher, on commentary, said: “Hang on, hang on. Was Bell-Drummond in contact with Cox when Cox caught the ball when Bell-Drummond was touching the boundary rope? I’ve never seen this before, that must be what they’re checking… You’re in the game for most of your life and you think you’ve seen everything, that is the first time I’ve ever seen that.”

After a long check, Smeed was given not out and a six was signalled. Law 19.5.1 of the Laws of Cricket states: “A fielder is grounded beyond the boundary if some part of his/her person is in contact…another fielder who is grounded beyond the boundary, if the umpire considers that it was the intention of either fielder that the contact should assist in the fielding of the ball.”

With the batsman getting a reprieve, Cox was seen fuming at the decision — and also possibly at his teammate who had rushed in from fine leg only to spoil it. However, later in the same over, Smeed was again caught by Cox, who celebrated wildly this time.

Kent went on to win the final comfortably by 26 runs, with Smeed’s dismissal sparking a major collapse.

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