The International Cricket Council (ICC) will make changes in the ‘soft signal’ protocols before the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) between India and New Zealand in June. Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) initiated the debate at the ICC’s board meeting on Thursday.
The controversy around the soft signal gained attention in the 4th T20I between India and England – Suryakumar Yadav was deemed out by the third umpire when the on-field umpire sent the decision upstairs with a soft signal of ‘out’.
The third umpire was unable to find any ‘conclusive evidence’ to overturn the on-field umpire’s soft signal; however, on replays, it seemed that Dawid Malan, the fielder who caught Yadav, had grounded the ball.
According to Cricbuzz, Jay Shah got support from other members in the meeting, and it was agreed that a change in the soft signal protocol was needed, in particular calls concerned with out-field decisions.
ICC to not alter the Umpire’s Call
Other than the soft signal, the Umpire’s call in the Decision Review System(DRS) is also under heavy scrutiny for its vagueness. However, the ICC has retained the currently used protocols in the umpire’s call.
The ICC Cricket Committee, which is headed by Anil Kumble alongside experts like Mahela Jayawardena, Rahul Dravid, Mickey Arthur, Richard Illingworth, Shaun Pollock as its members, has felt that the umpire’s call is required in the DRS. The matter was referred to ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) which has been forwarded to the Board for approval. The ICC is expected to come out with a statement post the board meeting on April 1.
“On DRS, the MCC World Cricket committee felt that the TV umpire should look at replays from a neutral perspective, rather than trying to see if there is evidence to overturn the on-field decision.
“The committee felt that the soft-signal system worked well for catches within the 30-yard fielding circle, but that catches near the boundary often left the umpires unsighted,” a spokesman for MCC told Cricbuzz.
“It was proposed that, for such catches, the on-field umpires could give an ‘unsighted’ instruction to the TV umpire, rather than the more explicit soft-signal of Out or Not out,” he added.