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KNOW YOUR LAWS: When is a catch called a catch?

22nd March, 2018
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22nd March, 2018
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A cheeky fumble from a seasoned wicketkeeper has once again brought up the spirit of cricket debate.

Despite the ball slipping out of his gloves, the audacious keeper did little to stop his teammates’ appeal as the dumbfounded batsman was apparently incorrectly given out and left to lick his wounds.

As the old saying goes, it’s just not cricket.

But was it actually out? How long does a player have to hold onto the ball before the catch is deemed to be held or dropped?

Law 33.3
“The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”

Basically, you need to have the ball grasped and in complete control of your hands before you can start throwing the red pill around in celebration or letting it fall to the ground.

It’s a law Herschelle Gibbs knows all about after famously celebrating too quickly after taking the ‘catch’ of Steve Waugh at the 1999 World Cup.

The keeper’s false catch goes against the spirit of the game, and similar events have even resulted in disciplinary action in the past at the highest level.

In 2013, West Indian wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin received a two-match ban after claiming a dropped catch during a one-day match against Pakistan.

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Ramdin’s victim was initially given his marching orders before a review saw the decision overturned.

In the aftermath of the match, the ICC found Ramdin’s conduct to be “contrary to the spirit of the game.”

In this instance, you could argue the catch didn’t fall within the guidelines of cricket as a legal dismissal, but instead, sits in the same category of the aforementioned Ramdin incident.

Was this a catch? Or did the keeper spill the beans too quickly to count? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.