ICC to abolish soft signal

Whenever there is a tight call in a match, mostly in cases of close catches, the on-field umpire refers to the third umpire. While referring, the official informs the decision he made based on his intuition. That intuition is known as a soft signal. The third umpire can overturn the on-field umpire’s decision only if there is irrefutable evidence.

The abolishment of the ‘soft signal’ rule means the on-field official can refer to the third umpire without providing his verdict. Hence, only the third umpire will have the final say on doubtful decisions. Ben Stokes was among the many stalwarts who demanded the ouster of this rule.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah also raised the matter during an ICC meeting in 2021. As Shah is also part of the ICC Cricket Committee now, he seems to have played an influential role in the decision-making. Former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is the chairman of the committee that made the verdict. Reportedly, both WTC finalists have been informed about the change.

The other significant point is that floodlights can be used during the game in case of poor natural light. And there will be a reserve (sixth) day for the game this year as well.