The International Cricket Council (ICC), after a board meeting on Thursday, are reportedly keen on doing away with ‘soft signal’ for catches and are expected to make the change prior to the World Test Championship Final. The council, however, are expected to retain the umpire’s call for LBW calls.
In what would be a somewhat-radical change in the way on-field catches are adjudged, the International Cricket Council (ICC) are expected to completely do away with ‘soft signal’ for catches. The ICC had a virtual board meeting on Thursday, and, according to Cricbuzz, BCCI secretary Jay Shah took up the issue of ‘soft signal’ for catches and championed for it to be ousted from the rules. Shah is believed to have received ample support from other members, who are also said to have been in the favour of soft signals for catches getting scrapped altogether.
The change in the rule, according to Cricbuzz, might take some time, but it is expected that there will be no soft signal for catches by the time India and New Zealand lock horns with each other in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton in June.
But unlike the soft signal, the ICC, however, are said to be keen on retaining ‘umpire’s call’ for LBW decisions. The Umpire’s Call rule has come under question from players, captains, commentators, and ex-cricketers, but Cricbuzz reports that the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Anil Kumble with experts like Mahela Jayawardena, Rahul Dravid, Tim May, Mickey Arthur, Richard Illingworth, Ranjan Madugalle and Shaun Pollock as its members, feels that DRS simply cannot exist without the presence of an umpire’s call.
"On DRS, the MCC World Cricket committee felt that the TV umpire should look at replays from a neutral perspective, rather than trying to see if there is evidence to overturn the on-field decision. The committee felt that the soft-signal system worked well for catches within the 30-yard fielding circle, but that catches near the boundary often left the umpires unsighted. It was proposed that, for such catches, the on-field umpires could give an 'unsighted' instruction to the TV umpire, rather than the more explicit soft-signal of Out or Not out," Cricbuzz quoted a spokesman for MCC as saying.
The ICC are expected to come out with a statement post the board meeting on April 1.