The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made one of the most hotly debated and long-pending rule changes in the playing conditions (PC) of international matches. This change is expected to be implemented in the final match of the World Test Championship (WTC) to be held in London next month. ICC is thinking of vanishing the soft signals rule.
According to the report of Cricbuzz, the ICC’s Cricket Committee, under the chairmanship of Sourav Ganguly, approved the change of this rule. Meanwhile, India and Australia, the two finalist teams of the Test Championship, have also been informed about this change. The new rule will be part of the matches to be played at The Oval from June 7-12.
The soft signal rule has been the subject of controversy, and many veterans have called for it to be scrapped. Visual of the soft signal bowler communicating with the third umpire about their initial on-field decision before the umpire initiates the umpire review in accordance with ICC rules is the medium.
On-field decisions should be made after discussing with the striker’s side umpire before discussing with the third umpire over the one-way radio. Such a decision would be initiated by the umpire on the bowler’s side, making the shape of a TV screen with his hands to the third umpire, followed by a soft hand signal of out or not out.
If the third umpire advises that a decision cannot be made on replays, the decision of the on-field umpire, as informed at the outset, shall be final. Simply put, the soft signal rule forces an on-field umpire to take a call. The on-field umpire can take a decision even if he is not sure before going to the third umpire, who can only change it if there is conclusive evidence from video footage. The rule change means that the third umpire will have the final call on a suspected catch.