Gros Islet: Following the controversy that erupted after the Ganga-Dhoni-Lara boundary line catch dispute, the ICC has clarified the protocol regarding situations where "a boundary decision and a catch decision or a boundary decision and a run-out are components of the same incident." The protocol gives the fielder in such instances the benefit of doubt.
According to an ICC press release, when "a batsman hits the ball in the air to a fielder near the boundary and the on-field umpires are uncertain whether a catch has been completed or a boundary scored, the on-field umpires are entitled to refer the boundary decision to the TV umpire... once the boundary decision request has been referred to him, the TV umpire has the responsibility to make a decision solely on whether a boundary has been scored.
"If the TV replay evidence is inconclusive, the TV umpire must still make a boundary decision. His decision must be made using the existing convention in cricket which dictates that the status quo prevails i.e. because no evidence exists of a boundary being scored, no boundary is awarded. This decision is conveyed back to the on-field umpires.
"In these circumstances, as no boundary has been scored, the only decision left is for the on-field umpire at the bowler's end to give the batsman out caught."
Also, the "same protocol would apply to a run-out decision in circumstances where it is questionable whether a boundary has been scored."
In such cases, the third umpire can be called upon to make two separate decisions.
He has to first decide whether a boundary is scored in the process of the fielder making the save on the line, following which, the on-field umpires may decide whether or not to involve the TV umpire in the run-out decision.
This protocol will be applied with immediate effect. ICC General Manager - Cricket David Richardson said, "The confusion in Antigua arose over what the third umpire was required to adjudicate on a boundary or a dismissal. That confusion created understandable frustration among the players and spectators, and the clarification of this protocol should ensure a similar situation does not arise in the future."