Recently, there was a big uproar in Indian cricket regarding the matter of soft signals. Along with many former Indian cricketers and experts, skipper Virat Kohli also spoke about the need to do away with the soft signal rule, referring to a decision to the third umpire. This issue was discussed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the board has decided to do away with soft signals for the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Playing conditions are being updated for the IPL scheduled later this year and as accessed by ANI, the BCCI has stated that the on-field officials would not be allowed to give soft signals when referring a decision to the third umpire. Looking at the rules for the IPL 2020 and IPL 2021, especially at Appendix D- Clause 2.2.2, the only change that one will see is regarding the use of the soft signal.
Soft Signal would not cause confusion anymore
The updated playing conditions clearly mention that the “On-filed umpire giving Soft Signal while referring the decision to the 3rd Umpire will not be applicable”.
This rule has been altered so that the third umpire doesn’t get affected by the on-field call in mind. This rule will help avoid any confusion in making a decision.
A BCCI source said that there have been many cases where the soft signal has created confusion for the third umpire and did not help him in any way in making a decision. To avoid such situations in the future the board has come up with the revival of the old rule wherein the decisions were referred to the third umpire if the on-field umpires were not sure.
Kohli on the Soft Signal
India skipper Virat Kohli had also spoken on this issue. He had said if the ball “hits the stump or missing the stumps” how much the ball clips should not matter because it creates a lot of confusion. Reaction of the fielding team to dismissal should also be counted, according to the skipper. This will define the soft signal too. The spirit of the game and the guidelines need to be questioned especially in the light of the Indian team playing overseas. As per Virat Kohli spirit of the game would be a totally different question if the same rule comes into play while team India is playing abroad. Thus, captain Kohli wants to avoid any grey area which can hamper the game and leaves the teams with any hazy details. “It is a serious thing,” says Kohli and should be treated seriously as there is a lot at stake here with the bigger tournaments approaching the team.
Short run can be regulated by the third umpire
There is another major change in the rules and that is the third umpire can check whether a run was a short run or not. Not only this but the third umpire can change the decision made by the on-field umpires.
Last year a huge debate was created during the IPL due to this point between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals. Punjab Management even ended up making an official complaint about the same. But now the 20th over in each inning is included in 90 minutes.
The third umpire also gets the authority to overrule the no-ball decision made by the on-field umpires. There is another updated clause in the playing conditions which states that in an uninterrupted match, subsequent super overs can be played till an hour from the actual finished time of the tied matches