'That's a joke': Cricket world explodes over 'rubbish' rule fiasco


Controversy and the Big Bash go hand in hand this season.

On Thursday night at the Gabba, the 'correct' decision was made even if commentators, players and the majority of viewers didn't think so.

The drama unfolded when Test star Matthew Wade batting for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Brisbane Heat.

Wade smashed a ball that was travelling over the boundary for six when Renshaw intercepted the ball just inside the rope.

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Knowing momentum was taking him onto the wrong side of the rope, Renshaw batted the ball back up to himself in the air.

Matthew Renshaw was standing behind the rope when he batted the ball back to his teammate. Pic: Fox Sports

He was still standing on the other side of the rope when he jumped again and batted the ball back to teammate Tom Banton, ensuring that no part of his body was touching the ground when he did so.

Banton took the resulting catch, with Heat players adamant they had snared the batsman.

Wade sensed his fate and started walking back to the pavilion as replays confirmed that Renshaw's feet were in the air when he batted the ball to Banton.

While commentators commended Renshaw for an "absolutely magnificent" piece of improvisation, many fans were left seething at the rule that allowed the wicket to stand.

Wade, who admitted he wasn't sure of the rule, was sent on his way for 61 runs as the Hurricanes managed just 9-126 off their 20 overs.

Brisbane stuttered in their chase of 127 before Ben Cutting blasted an unbeaten 43 to get the hosts home with 10 balls to spare.

Renshaw's self-described "assist" was the talking point though, Wade admitting he was one of many on the field unaware that a 2013 rule change meant it was a fair catch.

‘It's a bit of a strange one’

That's despite the likes of Sam Billings, Glenn Maxwell and Renshaw's Heat teammate Josh Lalor all benefiting from that interpretation to claim catches in recent years.

"It's a bit of a strange one, we play a lot of sports where you can't come from outside the field of play and touch the ball again," Wade said.

"But I've got no grudges ... nobody's talked about it until this point so it hasn't been much of an issue, but will it be an issue (now that it's happened again)?

"Maybe players could expose it a little, but you'd have to do a hell of a job to do it."

Renshaw, who admitted he didn't know the law and that the parry back to Banton was accidental, said the skill may find its way into fielding sessions.

Renshaw celebrates the bizarre catch with teammate Tom Banton. Pic: AAP

"Apparently you can just keep hitting the ball up as long as you're in the air," he said.

"So maybe we'll keep practising that."

The Heat were scratchy in their run-chase but now sit 4-3 for the season after reaching the total with 10 balls and five wickets in hand.

It was the Heat's first successful run chase from four attempts this season and they made hard work of it, losing 4-19 just when they appeared to be cruising.

But Ben Cutting (43 off 29) went large and Jimmy Peirson (23 off 25) steadied the ship following the horror run-out of Chris Lynn (nine) to guide them home to the relief of the 29,749 fans.

With AAP