New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) The soft signal rule, which has caused widespread debate in the cricketing world, could be abolished from international cricket, starting from the 2023 World Test Championship final between India and Australia to be held from June 7-11 at The Oval in London.
A report in Cricbuzz says the change in the soft signal rule is on its way, starting from the playing conditions for the WTC final.
“The change, understandably approved by Sourav Ganguly-headed cricket committee of the ICC, has been conveyed to the two WTC finalists — India and Australia. The new rule will be part of the PCs for the June 7-12 game at The Oval,” it added.
According to ICC rules, a “Soft Signal is the visual communication by the bowler’s end umpire to the third umpire (accompanied by additional information via two-way radio where necessary) of his/her initial on-field decision prior to initiating an Umpire Review.”
It means the soft signal rule forces the on-field umpire to make a decision, even if he is not sure, before referring it to the third umpire. The third umpire can overturn the decision only if there is conclusive evidence from the video footage made available to him. The rule change means the third umpire will have the final say on doubtful on-field decisions.
The rule further states: “Should both on-field umpires require assistance from the third umpire to make a decision, the bowler’s end umpire shall firstly take a decision on-field after consulting with the striker’s end umpire, before consulting by two-way radio with the third umpire.”
“Such consultation shall be initiated by the bowler’s end umpire to the third umpire by making the shape of a TV screen with his/her hands, followed by a Soft Signal of Out or Not out made with the hands close to the chest at chest height. If the third umpire advises that the replay evidence is inconclusive, the on-field decision communicated at the start of the consultation process shall stand.”
The report added that another significant point in playing conditions will be that the floodlights can be switched on during the game in case of poor natural light. It also said the WTC final will have a reserve day (sixth), something which happened in the 2021 finale too.