The Catch

In recent years, cricketers have had to become much quicker and more adaptable in the field. Gone are the days where a team could safely carry players with a few extra pounds and no speed by placing them in the cricket equivalent of left field and hoping that a ball didn’t speed their way. Creative batsmen are hitting balls everywhere and no matter your brilliance in batting or bowling, you’re expected to field excellently as well. A case in point is below. Just watch this!

Baseball fans should note that once the ball crosses that rope then even if the fielder caught it on the fly, the ball would be considered a home run—or in cricketing terms “a six,” six runs. The only option for the fielder is to parry the ball back into play, without any part of his body touching the rope or the ground beyond it. This is what the fielder does. That there’s somebody nearby to catch the rebound is in itself a remarkable piece of thinking from both fielders.

The two on-field umpires, who’ve probably never seen anything like this before, rely on the  replays being shown to a third umpire to make sure that the fielder doesn’t touch the ground—even though he’s physically beyond the boundary’s edge.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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3 Responses to The Catch

  1. Ron Kaplan says:

    So the fact that the fielder’s body was over the boundary doesn’t matter as long as he’s not touching the ground? I think it’s quaint that a slow roller can go for four runs just because there was no fielder in the vicinity to grab it before it went over the boundary..

    • The answer to your question is yes. The ball doesn’t have to be a slow roller—it can be a lightning drive or a one-bounce strike over the rope. So a four is usually far from quaint. It’s like the ground rule double, except the batsman don’t have to bother jogging half way around a diamond, but can just stand there, admiring their shot.

      • Ron Kaplan says:

        Of course. I’m just imagining that slowly hit dribbler inching its way to the boundary because no fielder can get to it. That’s one of the parts of the game I find amazing: no foul territory, but with just 11 (?) players to cover the whole expanse? How does the manager (captain/other?) set up strategy in a game where the batter can hit anywhere?

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