An umpire’s dramatic decision to deny a Kiwi bowler an impressive wicket has kicked off arguments around the world – but it seems nobody in cricket can agree on a solution.
Kyle Jamieson appeared to have earned the caught-and-bowled dismissal of Tamim Iqbal with a diving catch, only for the third umpire to rule in the Bangladesh batsman’s favour.
Watch the strange scene unfold in the video above
Wayne Knights overruled the on-field umpires’ ‘soft signal’ of out on the grounds that Jamieson did not hold the catch despite taking it cleanly.
“I’ve got the ball on the ground and the player is not fully in control,” Knights said.
As he fell to the ground Jamieson had broken his fall by turning his hand, allowing the ball to graze the pitch – which was enough to rob the bowler of the wicket.
Law 33.1 states: “The striker is out caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, not being a no ball, touches his/her bat without having previously been in contact with any fielder, and is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch, as described in 33.2 and 33.3, before it touches the ground.”
Law 33.3 adds: “The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.”
The decision prompted strong and varied feedback from cricketers and prominent commentators as some targeted the rules to apply them as they saw fit, while the third umpire also came under fire.
“Tough call but the umpire has actually made the right decision by the laws,” Australian spinner Brad Hogg said.
“In the old days without the close-up replays there would be no argument, batsman on his way. Cricket again finds a way to provide a bit of controversy.”
Mark Waugh sided with the laws as they are written, saying it was “unfortunately not out as he was still completing the catch despite catching it cleanly”.
Popular Kiwi Scott Styris appeared to have no issue with the rule remaining in place but called on umpires around the world to get on the same page.
‘He’s right to be livid’
“This happens every game. If the umpires are giving this NOT OUT then be consistent….I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen something like this given NOT OUT,” he wrote.
Englishman David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd simply said “out” while Australian Jim Maxwell agreed, adding: “Was Mr Magoo on the couch?”
Ashes-winning bowler Tim Bresnan kicked off a healthy argument between cricketers from two sides of the world
“This is as bad a decision by the 3rd umpire as some of the VARs we have seen in the Premier League. (Jamieson is) right to be livid,” he wrote.
Retired cricketer turned England selector James Taylor replied: “He couldn’t have had much more control, that ball is firmly in his hand!!”
But former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull reiterated neither player was right.
“The problem is the writing of the actual Law,” he wrote.
“Third umpire had no choice but to give it not out according to the letter of the Law. As a player you think it’s a catch every time and that’s the problem.. #lawisanass.”