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T20 Blast 2021

Did the umpires get the bizarre non-catch in T20 Blast final wrong?

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

A controversial decision during the T20 Blast Final between Somerset and Kent threatened to impact the result as a bizarre moment caused confusion all around.

Jordan Cox and Daniel Bell-Drummond collided in the 11th over of the innings just before the former took a catch on the boundary ropes. Though Cox took a clean catch, his legs were in contact with a sliding Bell-Drummond, who was, at that moment, touching the boundary ropes. The umpires decided that the batter, Will Smeed, would be awarded six runs as opposed to being given out.

Speaking on commentary, Mark Butcher said that, “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.”

Will Smeed was on 37 at the time and would ultimately be dismissed later in the same over when he was once again caught by Cox.

However, the decision caused confusion, as many pointed to the law in question, which stated that a fielder would only be considered outside the playing area if the contact with another player was considered intentional and therefore benefited the fielding side.

Law 19.5.1 says that contact with a fielder over the rope is only relevant if, “the umpire considers that it was the intention of either fielder that the contact should assist in the fielding of the ball.”

This would appear to mean that the umpires decided that the contact between Cox and Bell-Drummond was deliberate. Or, the law was misinterpreted. Have a look for yourself and see what you think…

Kent ended up winning the final comfortably by 25 runs, to win the competition for the first time since 2007.

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