When Indian batsman Surya Kumar Yadav was given out under controversial circumstances during the fourth T20I between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the soft signal became the talk of the town.
In the 14th over of India’s innings, Yadav was trapped in the deep by Dawid Malan off Sam Curran’s bowling. Although it was unclear if Malan’s low grab was a clean catch, third umpire Virender Sharma upheld the on-field umpire’s’soft signal’ of out due to a lack of convincing evidence to the contrary.
A soft signal is a “verbal communication by the bowler’s end umpire to the third umpire (accompanied by additional information via two-way radio where necessary) of his/her original on-field decision before conducting an Umpire Review,” according to the International Cricket Council’s guidelines.
It sparked a controversy about the need for a’soft signal,’ with Indian captain Virat Kohli indicating that on-field umpires should be allowed to remain neutral in a TV referral.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India seems to have taken note of the uproar and agreed to forego soft signals for the forthcoming Indian Premier League.
According to an ANI article, the BCCI has clarified that in the revised IPL playing conditions, on-field officials would not be able to send soft signals when referring a decision to the third umpire. The revised IPL 2021 playing conditions read, “Soft Signal: On-field Umpire providing Soft Signal when referring the decision to the 3rd Umpire would not be applicable.”
According to sources familiar with the situation, the decision was taken to prevent further uncertainty when making umpiring decisions.
Another change to the revised rules for a short run has been made. In the event of a short run, the third umpire can determine if it was a short run or not, and the official can reverse the on-field umpires’ ruling.