I've been known to show dissent. Once, upon being given out elbee first ball after smashing the agate onto my pad, I chipped the umpire "Bullsh1t!" as I brandished my bat at him. Then I trudged off to sulk in the corner. Flip-side-wise, I once made an 80+ not out despite smashing an edge down leg-side to the wicketkeeper in the first over. The 'keeper was just as concise: "Fvck off!"
The point is, I accept the umpire's decision.
Dear Mr AGB Cricket,
Yes, I had seen that catch and it does raise a question or two. It is MCC’s opinion that the catch is legal for 2 reasons.
Firstly, although the fielder starts moving before the ball reaches the striker, it is arguable that the movement is not significant. In a (brilliant) act of anticipation, he is readying himself to move to his left which actually starts with him moving his left leg slightly to the right, ie in the opposite direction to that which he eventually runs. This is to give him the “springboard” to set off to his left. If you freeze the clip at the right moment at 16 seconds, there is a frame where the ball has clearly already been played by the batsman but the fielder’s left boot is visible at the top of the screen still in line with the white line that has been painted as a guide for wides for the umpire. If you then check back to his original position, it is only about a foot or two different.
Secondly, the movement by the fielder is purely as a result of the shot selected by the striker. He only decides to move once it is clear that a sweep shot is being attempted. It would probably be wrong for such anticipation to be outlawed. A similar act of anticipation, although for a different reason, is when the silly point turns away when the striker is shaping up for a square cut. Both of these are very different from, for example, square leg moving back 20 paces as the bowler runs in, or moving from in front of square to behind square. This is the main intention of the Law although you are also correct that the movement should not distract the striker (also covered by Law 42.4)
Nobody could deny that it was a wonderful piece of anticipation and skill by the fielder and the Laws should not seek to forbid such acts.
I hope that this clarifies the Laws for you
Laws & Universities Manager
Marylebone Cricket Club
By the Laws, Our Don was right and the rest of us numb-skulls were wrong. In case you are tempted to unload, and I'd be surprised if you were not given Fraser Stewart's concession that his interpretation of "not significant" is "arguable" as well as the skeptical among you alleging that Fraser is merely doing the right thing by Rudi, please keep it civil because I have invited Fraser to read what we have written.