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Neser’s brilliant catch within the Laws, but do they needing changing?

Jordan Silk was dismissed at a crucial point in the high-scoring BBL thriller at the Gabba thanks to a superb boundary catch by Michael Neser, reviving the debate on whether the legislation regulating these dismissals needs to be altered.

As Silk lofted Mark Steketee towards long-off, Neser first kept the ball within the boundary before chucking it up when he saw he would step over the rope. The subsequent events were great. Neser palmed the ball back inside the rope when he was outside the line of scrimmage and still in the air, then sprang back into play to hold the catch.

Neser told Channel Seven, “I know [Matt] Renshaw did that a number of years ago. “Since I wasn’t sure whether the rules had changed, I made the decision to give it a go. Thank heavens the rules remained unchanged.”

There was a lot of debate over whether it should be allowed even though it was correctly decided to be out when it reached the TV umpire and was entirely lawful under the game’s regulations. One view holds that Neser’s skill and awareness were excellent, while the opposing view claims that the fielder and the ball both crossed the line.

Australian rapid Josh Hazlewood proclaimed his opposition to the Law as it stands. He told reporters at the SCG that he “didn’t like at all.” I think the previous rule, which required you to be on the playing field before tossing it back in, should be reintroduced.

It was distinctive, and “Ness” is a superb observer of rules. It was successful last night for them. Neser’s first touch was inside the field of play, and the fact that he wasn’t grounded while touching the ball twice outside the boundary is a crucial component of the relevant law.

“19.5.2 Fielders are considered to have been grounded beyond the boundary if their last point of touch with the ground before making contact with the ball after the bowler has delivered it was partially outside the boundary.

“33.2.1 A catch will only be considered fair if, in any instance, neither the ball at any point in time nor any fielder in contact with the ball is grounded beyond the boundary before the catch is completed. 33.2.2 In addition, if the requirements in 33.2.1 are satisfied, a catch shall be considered fair if…33.2.2.4 a fielder collects the ball after it has flown over the boundary.”

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