Ashes: Were Umpires Right In Ruling Out Ben Stokes' Catch Of Steve Smith? ICC Makes Big Statement
England needed a crucial wicket on the last day of the last Ashes Test to contain Australia and believed they had Australia's star batter Steve Smith close to lunch on Day 5 but the batter was ruled not out
Team England needed a crucial wicket on the last day of the last Ashes Test to contain Australia and believed they had Australia's star batter Steve Smith close to lunch on Day 5 but the batter was ruled not out. In the 66th over, Smith was batting on 39 and England captain Ben Stokes appeared to have caught the ball at leg gully as it popped off the batter's glove of Moeen Ali's loopy delivery. Umpire Joel Wilson said it was not out and Stokes went for review.
The catch was taken cleanly by Stokes at leg gully as he stretched his right arm but as he moved to celebrate, the ball flew out of his hands and fell down.
Replays appeared to indicate that Stokes realised it wasn't a clean catch since his head dropped right away.
"After numerous replays, Smith was ruled not out as the catch was not perceived to be clean according to law 33.3 of the MCC," the ICC wrote in a report.
"The law states, 'The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder's person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.'
"The incident was similar to Mitchell Starc's catch of Ben Duckett at Lord's but clearer. With this, Smith survived as Australia headed to lunch three down and needing a further 146 runs to win. "
Chris Woakes and Mark Wood provided the early breakthrough on Day 5 of the of the fifth Ashes Test to help England stage a comeback but Australia still have an edge in the crucial math.
Australia were 238/3 at Lunch with Steve Smith (40) and Travis Head (31) standing unbeaten at the crease with the team needing another 146 runs for victory.