Vitality T20 Blast: Umpires deny boundary catch siting rarer cricket rule in T20 Blast final – A superb catch by Kent’s Jordan Cox on the boundary rope was denied by umpires siting a rarer cricket rule during the Vitality T20 Blast final between Somerset and Kent on Saturday night. Cox thought he had taken a clean catch but one of cricket’s rarer laws were invoked, which eventually deemed the catch illegal as his teammate tried to help.
— Vitality Blast (@VitalityBlast) September 18, 2021
The incident took place in the 10th over of Somerset’s innings where 97 runs were required of 60 balls and both the teams were in the hunt. On the balling of Joe Denly, Will Smeed pulled a ball in the at deep midwicket. Cox took a clean catch at midwicket and the batsman started walking back. But the umpires stopped him and started talking with the third umpire. The issue was that the fielder who had run in from fine leg, Daniel Bell-Drummond, and dived into Cox’s feet, being in contact with him when Cox took the catch.
Mark Butcher, who was on live commentary, said: “Hang on, hang on. Was Bell-Drummond in contact with Cox when Cox caught the ball when Bell-Drummond was touching the boundary rope? I’ve never seen this before, that must be what they’re checking… You’re in the game for most of your life and you think you’ve seen everything, that is the first time I’ve ever seen that.”
After a long check, Smeed was given not out and a six was signalled.
What is the law?
Law 19.5.1 of the Laws of Cricket states: “A fielder is grounded beyond the boundary if some part of his/her person is in contact…another fielder who is grounded beyond the boundary, if the umpire considers that it was the intention of either fielder that the contact should assist in the fielding of the ball.”
Smeed was given not out but could not make a big impact on the match as he got out in the same over.
With the batsman getting a reprieve, Cox was seen fuming at the decision — and also possibly at his teammate who had rushed in from fine leg only to spoil it. However, later in the same over, Smeed was again caught by Cox, who celebrated wildly this time.