KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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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)
Example of a catch near the boundary (2)
Batsman cannot be out Caught after the ball strikes a fielder's helmet