The much-debated soft signal decision has been ruled out of IPL 2021. In its updated rule and regulations for the season, the BCCI has denied allowing on-field umpires to give soft-signals and said that the third umpires will review such decisions. This happened after the ongoing India-England series has seen a few errors from on-field umpires especially on soft-signal decisions.
As per reports in ANI, the BCCI has decided to do away with soft signals in the upcoming season to avoid confusion and controversy. When one looks at Appendix D -Clause 2.2.2 of the playing conditions before IPL 2020 and now before IPL 2021, there is one clear change and it pertains to the usage of the soft signal.
“Soft Signal: Onfield Umpire giving Soft Signal while referring the decision to the 3rd Umpire will not be applicable,” states the updated playing conditions for IPL 2021.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said that the call has been made to avoid any confusion in making umpiring decisions.
No Soft Signal in IPL 2021
“There have been cases wherein the soft signal has kind of created confusion rather than giving clarity to the third umpire and that is why it was felt that going back to the old method of referring decisions to the third umpire if the on-field umpires are not sure should be followed,” the source said.
The discrepancy with soft signal decisions was first brought up by Virat Kohli after India were denied a few close decisions in the final T20I.
“If it hits the stumps or missing the stumps, it should not matter how much the ball is clipping because it is creating a lot of confusion. One more factor that needs to be considered is how the fielding team responds to a dismissal that is claimed. This is somewhere defining the soft signals as well. You have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are because if things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas then you are talking about the completely different conversation about the spirit of the game ” said Kohli.
Another decision that has been reworked is the short run. if there is a case of short-run, then the third umpire can check whether it was a short run or not and the official can overturn the decision made by the on-field umpires. A match between Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals saw the former losing the game after a short-run decision was ruled out against them in a league game. The Punjab management also made an official complaint after they ended up on the losing side.
As a measure to control the match timings, the 20th over in each innings is now included in 90 minutes, earlier the 20th over was to start on or before the 90th minute.