Correct cricket match prediction: Ben Stokes says soft signals ‘not needed’ after Labuschagne sacking controversy – ICC rules explained

The England Test cricket captain has given his thoughts on the soft signal rule following the dispute in the Australia-South Africa Test over the sacking of Marnus Labuschagne.

British cricketer Ben Stokes has called for the use of soft signals in making decisions about sending off in cricket, saying only the third referee should make the decision.

Stokes tweeted, “The ICC should get rid of the soft signal and leave it to the 3rd umpire who has all the skills to make a decision when the umpire on the field sends it. All controversies. It’s always about a given soft signal.

Stokes’ comments come after the controversial non-delivery of Marnus Labuchagne in Wednesday’s third Test match between Australia and South Africa.

Labuschagne was caught in the first slip in Australia’s first innings. Simon Harmer completed a low catch and the field team was confident Labuschagne was absent. The umpires on the field referred the decision to the third umpire, with bowling end umpire Paul Reiffel giving a gentle signal for the end.

According to his ICC Terms of Use for the 2021-23 World Test Championships, “A soft signal is defined as a bowler’s end at his third umpire’s first appearance on the field (additional radio information, if applicable). (accompanied by ) and visual communication with the start of judicial review before a decision.”

After reviewing the replay, the third umpire, Richard Kettleborough, reversed the decision and ruled that no batsmen were out.

However, fans on social media complained that replays did not provide conclusive evidence to overrule Cole’s or Reiffel’s soft signals.

ICC Rule 2.2.2 – Intercepted Decisions – states:

Soft signals are controversial these days. During England’s trip to Pakistan, Saud Shakir received a “gentle cue” from field referee Aleem Dar before referring to the third referee.

England goalkeeper Olly Pope completed a low catch and remained on the field at the time of the decision, with the third referee stating that there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the decision.

Fans were upset by this decision. Additionally, captain Babar Azam said the decision cost his side.

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