WTC Final 2023: International Cricket Council (ICC) is all set to cancel the soft signal. That is, only the third umpire will decide whether the latest catch is correct or not.
ICC Soft Signal Rules: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is ready to cancel the soft signal. That is, only the third umpire will decide whether the latest catch is correct or not. It seems that it will start with the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India vs Australia at the Oval Cricket Ground in England from June 7.
What is a soft signal?
If the ground umpire indicated a catch to the third umpire during the match, he had to give his opinion by soft signal. That means the ground umpire is understandably confused about the catch. But he has to tell the third umpire that in his view the decision is out or not out.
The ground umpire cannot change what the ground umpire has said on the soft signal unless the third umpire has concrete evidence. That is, if even the third umpire does not know whether the catch is clean or not, in this situation only the ground umpire’s soft signal is considered as the final decision.
What will change?
Soft signals are always a topic of debate among cricket experts. The Sourav Ganguly-led ICC Cricket Committee suggested its cancellation. Now the ICC has canceled the soft signal by implementing the Cricket Committee’s suggestion.
Now if the field umpire instructs the third umpire to review the catch, he will not give his instruction. The third umpire reviews the technology and takes the decision himself. The decision of the third umpire is considered correct.
When was the controversy about soft signal?
1. England-Pakistan Test: Pakistan’s young batsman Saud Shakeel was dismissed with a soft signal in the second match of the three-test series played during England’s tour of Pakistan last year. In this test, Pakistan had to suffer a defeat by 26 runs.
Pakistan need to score 355 runs in the second innings to win this match. Saud Shakeel scored 94 runs off 213 balls. Shakeel played a shot to the ball thrown by England bowler Mark Wood. The ball went to the wicket keeper Ollie Pope. Pope dived and grabbed the ball and appealed for a catch. The field umpire referred it to the third umpire and dismissed it with a soft signal.
When viewed in slow motion on replay, the ball appeared to hit the ground. In such a situation it becomes very difficult to determine whether the Pope’s finger is under the ball. The third umpire said that he did not have any concrete evidence. Shakeel was dismissed on the basis of a soft signal. After this, questions on the soft signal started popping up on social media.
2. Australia vs South Africa Test: It was also seen in the Australia-South Africa Test series earlier this year. In the final match of the series between January 4 and January 8, Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne was caught out on a soft signal. Labuschagne was caught at slip and the catch was in doubt.
The field umpire declared it out based on the soft signal. But the third umpire gave not out after seeing the catch with technical help. Because, he has definite evidence.
At that time England Test captain Ben Stokes also raised questions about the soft signal. He posted on social media that the ICC should allow the third umpire to take the right decision by removing the soft signal and using modern technology.
More changes in ICC rules?
Apart from canceling the soft signal, ICC will also make some other changes. During the WTC final the umpire can turn on the floodlights if there is a problem with natural light until the end of the day.
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