ICC clarify rules after controversial Steve Smith catch

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After Australia added to their Twenty20 win over Pakistan with a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series, there was a lot more to talk about than just the results of the games.

Australian all-rounder Steve Smith, who had a good series with the bat, has been criticised for a catch he took to remove Fawad Alam off Xavier Doherty's bowling.

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Controversial catch

The incident occurred midway through Pakistan's chase of Australia's 231, during which Smith was fielding at first-slip before anything had happened. It was only until after Doherty had bowled and before Alam had played his shot that Smith moved from first-slip to leg-slip taking an easy catch.

The reason why this has been the subject of so much talk is because previously, the rules have been that fielders cannot move before the batsman has played a shot.

The law states that: "Any significant movement by any fielder after the ball comes into play, and before the ball reaches the striker, is unfair. In the even of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal dead ball." Despite this, after much consideration, the umpires decided to give Alam out.

ICC clarification

This left many confused and Pakistan frustrated, but the ICC have now explained the reasoning behind the dismissal.

The ICC said: "Given the recent trend of fielders moving in anticipation after a batsman had moved to play a shot, the ICC consulted with the MCC and advised the umpires to use the following interpretation: 'As long as the movement of a close catching fielder is in response to the striker's actions (the shot he/she is about to play or shaping to play) then movement is permitted before the ball reaches the striker. On the day, if umpires believe any form of significant movement is unfair (in an attempt to deceive the batsman) then the law still applies.'

With this new rule now in place, it means that Smith's catch is not illegal nor is it unfair.

Do you think this is a fair new rule? Is it something you like? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.

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