ICC Meeting: ICC may act on ‘soft signal’ after BCCI raises issue, ‘umpire’s call’ likely to stay

ICC T20 WC: BCCI updates ICC on positive discussions around tax arrangements, visa guarantees; PCB) chief Ehsan Mani heave a sigh of relief
ICC T20 WC: BCCI updates ICC on positive discussions around tax arrangements, visa guarantees; PCB) chief Ehsan Mani heave a sigh of relief

ICC Meeting: The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Board of Directors held a virtual meeting on Thursday and took up for discussion two hotly-debated topics in the sport today – the ‘soft signal’ protocol for disputed catches and ‘umpire’s call’ category in Decision Review System (DRS).

The directors seem to have decided in favour of changing the current regulations regarding the soft signal that the umpires are obliged to give while referring a decision on the validity of a catch.

This issue has been around for a time but gained special focus after a contentious decision during the third T20I between England and India recently.

The matter of the ‘umpire’s call’ has been continuously debated by commentators and ex-players for some years. Prominent former cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne have criticised the system. However, this part of the DRS is likely to be kept on as the Cricket Committee of the ICC, made up of various prominent former players, has advised against change.

According to a report by Cricbuzz, the discussion on the soft signal was initiated by India’s representative Jay Shah, who is also the Secretary of BCCI.

The Indian board must have taken up this issue after the third umpire refused to go against the ‘out’ soft signal of the on-field umpire regarding a catch taken by England’s Dawid Malan off India’s Suryakumar Yadav. Despite replays suggesting that the ball touched the ground, the soft signal prevailed, inviting a torrent of criticism from various quarters.

As per the report, the BCCI wants the issue to be settled before the final of the World Test Championship later this year in England where India would face New Zealand.