Was Brendon McCullum’s Catch Legal?

I’m coming late to this, but My Two Cents argues Brendon McCullum’s catch off Rahul Dravid’s paddle sweep should have been disqualifed. Law 41 states:

7. Movement by fielders
Any significant movement by any fielder after the ball comes into play and before the ball reaches the striker is unfair. In the event of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.

He then links to AGB Cricket, who has a nice letter from someone at the MCC. The letter says two factors need to be considered in these situations: a) How significant is the movement? (After all, wicketkeepers regularly move behind the stumps before a delivered ball reaches the batsman.) b) Is the movement anticipation of a batting stroke? The paddle sweep requires an elaborate set-up and every fielder knows it’s coming. McCullum only moves after Dravid has chosen the stroke, which makes it less shady.

So, yes, the McCullum catch seems perfectly cricket to me, especially when you consider we allow batsmen to move significantly after a bowler has delivered a ball.

More importantly: is this the end of the paddle sweep?


One thought on “Was Brendon McCullum’s Catch Legal?

  1. Tony T says:

    Looks to me like McCullum’s catch was legal. His move was standard for a ‘keeper moving to take a ball going down leg side.

    That is allowable for the wicket keeper under Law 40.4., which relates not to sideways movement, but to movement towards the stumps.

    But the catch itself was a fluke: Popped up slowly off the bat, straight into McCullum’s “bread basket”, and stuck.

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