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Law 32 changes - Caught

Law 32

Changes | Reason for change | Interpretation & Application

Changes

Changes to the Law are in italics

32.1.    Out Caught

The striker is out Caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, not being a No ball, touches his bat without having previously been in contact with any fielder, and is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch, as described in 3 below, before it touches the ground.

32.3.    A fair catch

Providing that in every case
    neither  (i)    at any time the ball
    nor  (ii)    throughout the act of making the catch as defined in Law 19.4, any fielder in contact with the ball
is, as described in Law 19.3(b), touching the boundary or grounded beyond the boundary, a catch shall be considered to be fair if

(a)    the ball is hugged to the body of the catcher or accidentally lodges in his clothing or, in the case of a wicket-keeper only, in his pads.  However, it is not a fair catch if the ball lodges in a protective helmet worn by a fielder.

(b)    the ball does not touch the ground even though the hand holding it does so in effecting the catch.

(c)    a fielder catches the ball after it has been lawfully struck more than once by the striker, but only if it has not been grounded since it was first struck.

(d)    a fielder catches the ball after it has touched an umpire, another fielder or the other batsman.

However, it is not a fair catch if at any time after having been struck by the bat and before a catch is completed the ball has touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder.

(e)    a fielder catches the ball after it has crossed the boundary in the air, provided that after being struck by the bat, the first contact with the ball is by a fielder, not touching or grounded beyond the boundary, who has some part of his person grounded within the boundary or whose final contact with the ground before touching the ball was entirely within the boundary.

Any fielder subsequently touching the ball is not subject to this restriction.  See Law 19.4 (Ball beyond the boundary).

(f)    the ball is caught off an obstruction within the boundary that has not been designated a boundary by the umpires before the toss.

32.4.    Fielder beyond the boundary

A catch shall not be made and a Boundary 6 shall be scored if after the ball has been struck by the bat a fielder
    (i)    has some part of his person touching or grounded beyond the boundary when he catches the ball, or after catching it subsequently touches the boundary or grounds some part of his person beyond the boundary while carrying the ball but before completing the catch as defined in Law 19.4.  
    ii)    catches the ball after it has crossed the boundary in the air without the conditions in 3(e) above being satisfied.
See Laws 19.3 (Scoring a boundary) and 19.5 (Runs allowed for boundaries).

Reason for changes

Law 32.1 (Out Caught) – additional wording has been included to clarify what constitutes a fair catch.
    
Law 32.3 (A fair catch) – this Law has been reworded and renumbered to add clarification to what constitutes a fair catch.
    
For emphasis and clarity, what was part (a) has been as an overarching statement of the basic requirements for a catch to be fair.  In consequence, all subsequent parts have been re-lettered.
        
In part (d) [formerly (e)], the words “has previously touched”, which have caused some confusion, have been replaced by a fuller description of the circumstances in which touching a helmet worn by a fielder prevents a catch from being fair.
 
In part (e), the circumstances surrounding what constitutes a fair catch on the boundary have been fully clarified.
    
Law 32.4 (Fielder within the field of play) – this Law has been reworded as the former wording, which is considered incompatible with the title of this Law, defined a fielder not within the field of play.

Interpretation & application

For clarification, there is an adjustment of wording in 32.3(d).  This is to make it clear that the embargo on catching the ball, after it has touched a helmet worn by a fielder, applies whenever the contact occurs, from leaving the bat to being held by a fielder.

Otherwise, the changes, which relate to catching the ball after it has crossed the boundary in the air, mirror the conditions in Law 19, to which reference is made here.  Of course, in this Law, only catching is relevant, whereas Law 19 includes fielding.  There is no alteration to the conditions. 

As a reminder, a fielder can catch the ball (as a fair catch) beyond the boundary, providing that at any time during ‘the act of making the catch’ he is not in contact with the boundary or the ground beyond it at the same time as he is in contact with ball. 

Moreover, if he is the first fielder to touch it after it has been struck by the bat, to make the catch he must have some contact with the ground within the boundary (and none on or beyond it) or have jumped up from such a position.

Example of a catch near the boundary (1)

  • The first point to note with this catch, which should have been given out, is that the fielder’s first contact with the ball was when he was within the boundary.  He does not have control over his movement at this stage, so the catch is not completed.
  • Seeing his momentum will take him beyond the boundary, he tosses the ball up before making contact with the ground beyond the boundary.
  • His next contact with the ball is when he is airborne, having taken off from outside the boundary – this is legal, as it is not the first contact he has made with the ball.
  • The final contact is back inside the boundary, when the catch is completed.
  • At no stage was the fielder in contact with both the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time.
  • If a second fielder was involved, he may step outside the boundary and, as long as another fielder has already touched the ball, he may jump up from outside the boundary to make contact with the ball.

Example of a catch near the boundary (2)

  • The fielder’s first contact with the ball was when he was within the boundary.  He does not have control over his movement at this stage, so the catch is not completed.
  • Seeing his momentum will take him beyond the boundary, he tosses the ball up before making contact with the ground beyond the boundary.
  • He steps outside the boundary, before stepping back into the field of play to complete the catch.
  • At no stage was the fielder in contact with both the ball and the ground beyond the boundary at the same time.

Batsman cannot be out Caught after the ball strikes a fielder's helmet

  • If the ball strikes a helmet worn by any member of the fielding side at any time between the striker hitting the ball and the fielder completing the catch, then it cannot be out caught.
  • The ball does not become dead on impact with a helmet being worn by a fielder, however, and so a run out is still possible. 
  • For a run out to be allowed, the ball must make contact with a fielder after it has hit the helmet – i.e. it cannot rebound off the helmet and directly onto the stumps without being touched by a fielder.
  • So, in this incident, after the ball has hit the grille of the helmet, the fielder (Ghambir) or indeed one of his team-mates could have thrown the ball at the stumps to attempt a run out.


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