Sheffield Shield 2016-17
Steketee falls to rare dismissal at the SCG
New Sheffield Shield Playing Conditions in play as Queenslander is caught off the short leg's helmet
13 February 2017, 07:00 PM AEST
Queensland's Mark Steketee has been dismissed under a new playing condition brought into the Sheffield Shield just last year regarding helmets worn by close-in fielders.
Steketee was given out caught at the SCG on Monday after his pull shot ricocheted off the helmet of NSW fielder Nick Larkin at short leg and ballooned to Sean Abbott at leg gully, who took a comfortable catch.
Report & Highlights: NSW v Queensland at the SCG
The dismissal would have previously been disallowed under the MCC's Laws of Cricket, but an amendment to the Sheffield Shield Playing Conditions for the 2016-17 season means it's now a fair catch.
The Sheffield Shield's amendment to Law 32 (a fair catch) of the Laws of Cricket states that a batsman will be given out when "a fielder catches the ball after it has touched an umpire, another fielder or the other batsman or any protective equipment worn by any of those persons".
The Playing Conditions continue: "This playing condition modifies the MCC Laws of Cricket to, for example, allow for a batsman to be out caught off a ball that ricochets off the protective helmet being worn by a player or umpire."
The change to the Playing Conditions was made last year in the wake of the Curtain Review into the death of Phillip Hughes. The Review's recommendations included that the highest standard of helmets become mandatory for batsmen facing fast and medium pace bowling, for wicketkeepers standing up to the stumps and for fielders positioned close to the batter (except slips fielders).
Quick Single: Curtain Review recommends mandatory helmets
While the Sheffield Shield Playing Conditions have changed, the official MCC Laws of Cricket remain the same, which means a similar catch would not stand in Test cricket. This was seen when Matthew Wade was given not out during this summer's Boxing Day Test against Pakistan, when he was 'caught' off the helmet of close fielder Azhar Ali.
But at a meeting of the MCC's Cricket Committee late last year, the Committee determined that catches and stumpings will now be permitted after the ball has struck a helmet worn by a fielder.
The main MCC committee has been asked to approve the change to the rules into the official Laws of Cricket.
"It is felt that balls rebounding off a fielder's helmet could equally help or hinder the fielding side and so the suggestion that rebounds off the helmet make catches easier should be disregarded," the Committee said in a statement.