Controversy erupts over Suryakumar Yadav’s title-winning catch in T20 World Cup final

The catch sparked comparisons with Kapil Dev’s iconic 1983 moment, but many on social media felt that Suryakumar Yadav’s shoe had flicked the boundary cushion.

Ian Smith labelled it “one of the greatest” in cricket history. Yadav’s brilliant effort, which won India the 2024 T20 World Cup title, failed to negate controversy hours after India beat South Africa at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Saturday.

While the entire nation celebrated and credited Suryakumar for his stunning presence of mind near the boundary ropes to seal the victory for India, a fresh video from an eagle-eyed fan sparked debate as to whether South Africa were denied their moment under the sun.

If India were aiming for their first T20 World Cup win in 17 years, a first world title in 13 years, and a maiden ICC trophy in 11 years, South Africa were looking for their first-ever major trophy in world cricket.

The Proteas seemed well on course towards a stunning win before India pulled things back in the death overs to restrict the side seven runs short of the target.

The catch was taken in the final over, with South Africa needing 16 runs to win when David Miller smashed the ball over the bowler.

It looked destined to fly over the boundary ropes before Suryakumar intervened and plucked it out of thin air, then juggled it up as he went over the ropes, before managing to hold on to it with his feet millimetres away from the boundary cushion.

Third umpire Richard Kettleborough gave it a quick look and deemed it a legal catch as South Africa lost their last batting hope with Miller departing for 21.

Read also: WATCH: Suryakumar Yadav’s boundary heroics hand India’s T20 World Cup glory

Many on social media thought Suryakumar’s shoe had flicked the boundary cushion when he grabbed the catch at long-off before throwing the ball up in the air. A South African fan wrote, “This certainly deserved more than one look, just saying. Boundary rope looks like it clearly moves.”

Another social media post highlighted that the cushioning of the boundary rope was pushed back just before the catch. According to ICC’s playing conditions, it is the cushion and not the white line, as seen in the tweet, which is the boundary.

However, section 19.3 states: “If a solid object used to mark the boundary is disturbed for any reason, then the boundary shall be considered to be in its original position.”

Although there is no proof yet, the post certainly indicated that the rope may have been moved earlier during the match and it should have been moved back to its original position.

Section 19.3.2 states: “If a solid object used to mark the boundary is disturbed for any reason, the object shall be returned to its original position as soon as is practicable; if play is taking place, this shall be as soon as the ball is dead.”

Kagiso Rabada got a lucky boundary on the next ball after Miller’s dismissal, escaping a caught behind off a thick outside edge, but South Africa managed just four more runs in the next four balls, including another dismissal as India secured a narrow 7-run win.

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