The Roar
The Roar

Peter Hunt

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Joined September 2018

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Like so many other Australian Cricket fans, I was mortified by the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town in March 2018. It made me question my life-long passion for Cricket and my steadfast support for the national team. And so, combining my passions for cricket, the law and writing, I embarked on a search for `The Spirit of Cricket'; one cricket tragic's attempt to define `the line'. Does Cricket have a distinct spirit? Can we define 'the line'? How are the values Cricket holds dear different from any other sport?

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Great question HR! Sorry I didn’t see it earlier.
Law 19.4.1 states:

19.4.1 The ball in play is grounded beyond the boundary if it touches
– the boundary or any part of an object used to mark the boundary;
– the ground beyond the boundary;
– any object that is grounded beyond the boundary.

So, at first instance, the object has to be grounded beyond the boundary to count.

The most relevant law I can find is this one:

19.2.7 A person or animal coming onto the field of play while the ball is in play shall not be regarded as a boundary unless the umpires determine otherwise at the time that contact between the ball and such a person or animal is made. The decision shall be made for each separate occurrence.

But 19.2.7 refers to people or animals on the field of play, rather than people, animals or objects between the boundary and the fence.

All I can say is that one would hope that common sense would prevail!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

That does seem like a easier rule, Chris, but I still don’t mind Renshaw’s presence of mind and athleticism being rewarded.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Sorry for not replying, Brainstrust, but I’m having difficulty interpreting your point. My apologies.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Interesting proposal, Doc! But I’d hate to see the extended video replays…upon replays…upon replays to determine whether the ball had crossed the vertical virtual boundary before it was caught, bunter or swept back into play by an agile fielder. We’d need hawkeye cameras to cover every possible angle. That is, of course, unless you want to erect a vertical net extending upwards from the boundary rope!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Hi Pope Paul VII!

As I just acknowledged in reply to JamesH, the last sentence of my article is not right. It doesn’t matter where the fielder is when the ball is released. The critical thing about 19.5.2 is that the fielder’s first contact with the ball, after it has been bowled, has to be on the right side of the boundary rope.

Sorry for the confusion!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Thanks James.

I agree that the last sentence of my article is incorrect. Sorry, I must have been over eager to click “submit”.

But I stand by my re-write of 33.2.1 because that re-write is still subject to what “grounded beyond the boundary” in 19.5.2 means.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Good question Spruce Moose. My interpretation of 19.5.2 is that the first contact with the ball has to be within the field of play before the fielder (male or female) is allowed to cross the rope and do the `hop-parry’ dance.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Absolutely, but he was not touching the ground beyond the boundary when he made contact with the ball (the second time).

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Ha! Thanks Mikey! I’m available! 😊

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Absolutely! But that’s not to say what Renshaw did didn’t demonstrate considerable skill.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

That’s my interpretation too, HR. So a fielder can’t stand between the rope and the fence and jump up whilst bunting the ball back into the playing area to either deny the batsman a boundary or complete a catch.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

That’s a fair point, HR. I like it. My version doesn’t allow the fielder to leave the playing area and come back in to complete the catch.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Ha! Thanks for the chuckle Jeff! I’ll try to curb my sadistic masochism in the future!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

I agree with you Jeff. I don’t think the drafting was inadvertent, as JBK suggests.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

That’s right Jeff. The catch is fair, provided the fielder does not touch the ball whilst their feet are on the ground on the wrong side of the rope.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

And, yes, you’re right, it was actually Banton’s catch….but Renshaw did all the magic!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

No, if the fielder touches the rope it’s four or six.

My last comment was a tongue-in-cheek way of saying I was sitting on the fence in response to Brett’s comment.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

It’s an affliction. We need help 😊 !

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

I totally agree, Paul.

I remember being in a match once when the Umpire called wide before the ball got to the batsman and proceeded to give the batsman `not out’ when he swung at it and got an edge to the keeper!

Wrong on so many levels!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

I actually don’t mind the way the rule currently works, because it requires great skill to do what Renshaw did.

But, if people don’t like it, I agree it’s an easy fix:

“A fielder is deemed to be grounded beyond the boundary if they make contact with the boundary, or the ground beyond the boundary, at any time before a catch is completed (either by that fielder or another fielder). ”

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Thanks Paul. The amount of enjoyment I get out of reading – and attempting to re-write – legislation is disturbing!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

That was a great catch. Spine tingling!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Thanks JGK. I think you’ve got me re the last sentence. Provided the first contact with the ball was made within the field of play, Law 19.5.2 doesn’t care about where you were when the ball was bowled.

I, however, stand by my re-draft. As presently drafted, Law 19.5.2 talks about “…his/her final contact with the ground before his/her first contact with the ball…’ and my attempted re-write talks about “…first left contact with the ground in order to make contact with the ball.”

Both formulations allow ( an extremely agile) fielder to leap into the air, from a position within the boundary, and arch their backs in order to parry the six-hit back into the field of play, even though the ball is now over the boundary rope, albeit in the air.

I think that your suggestion would prohibit this because the first contact was made beyond the imaginary vertical line extending upwards from the boundary rope.

If I’ve misinterpreted you, I apologise!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Thanks Brett. My instinctive response to the Renshaw catch was `that can’t be out’, so I agree with your disquiet.

On the other hand, I’m not unhappy that the supreme skill and presence of mind displayed by Renshaw was rewarded.

I know I’m having it both ways! Akin to Law 19.5.2 allowing the fielder to stand on the boundary rope whilst effecting a fair catch!

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket

Thanks General. I’m not sure that your first sentence is is quite right. God, this is a minefield!

The critical part of the rule states: “…before his/her first contact with the ball after it has been delivered by the bowler….

My interpretation is that the fielder can’t dash across the boundary rope as soon as the ball is bowled…or even as the ball is sailing over their heads.

The words I have isolated indicate that the fielder has to be within the boundary when they first make contact with the ball. They can only proceed over the boundary line after they have first parried the ball into the air (or the ball bounces off their shoulder etc).

The rest of your post is, I think, correct.

The Renshaw catch and the laws of cricket