Glenn Maxwell says he is not a fan of the law change that permitted him to pull off one of the most brilliant outfield catches of the year during yesterday's fourth ODI at Headingley.
Maxwell, fielding at deep midwicket during the closing stages of England's series-squaring three-wicket win, dismissed Liam Plunkett after parrying the ball on the edge of the boundary, then jumping to complete the take in mid-air despite his last point of contact with the ground having taken place on the wrong side of the rope.
Prior to October 2013, the law had stated that the fielder needed to have started in the field of play and be grounded in bounds before securing the catch. That was amended by MCC to reward athleticism in the outfield but Maxwell, one of the best exponents of the art, said he didn't see the point of the change.
"I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense," Maxwell said after the Headingley match. "I think you should have to get back into the boundary.
"I think if you look at the basketball rule. You have to jump from inside to throw it back in, you can't jump up in the air and catch it on the way back in.
"You've got to make sure your feet have landed inside the court and I think it should be the same in cricket.
"But while we're taking catches on our side it doesn't really bother me, but I know if I was a batsman I'd be pretty upset if that was the dismissal. You've just go to play the rules you're given."
Eoin Morgan, England's victorious captain, who also fell to a moment of brilliance from Maxwell when he was caught one-handed in the gully for 92, hailed the catch as "fantastic" but also admitted that the rule change had caught him unawares.
"I'm unclear on the rules to be honest," Morgan said. "I think it's changed a couple of times so I will be asking so that I know for the future."
Maxwell himself only became aware of the law change after commenting on Twitter during a similar incident in Australia's Big Bash in January. Josh Lalor, Sydney Thunder's fast bowler, dismissed Cameron White, Melbourne Stars' captain, having also started with his feet outside the field of play. Maxwell tweeted:
That's not out!! U can't jump from over the rope to take the catch! The rule has changed, otherwise u can catch one 20m back from the rope!— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) January 17, 2015
He later admitted he was "happy to be proven wrong", but added he thought it was a poor amendment. MCC later clarified the rule change on its website.
"I think it makes it easier as an outfielder," Maxwell said. "You've got to be aware of the rope as well but it made the catch a lot easier to complete, to be able to jump from back over [the boundary] and catch it in the air.
"Obviously I didn't really want to have to do it, but I lost a bit of balance on the boundary line so I thought I had to throw it up, and obviously with the law being like it is, jump from over the rope and back in and catch it in mid-air."