For IPL 2021, the BCCI has announced new playing conditions, with no more soft signal from the on-field umpires which in recent times has caused quite a stir. Alongside that, with a lot of late ending to last year’s games, BCCI has also included a strict 90-minute time restriction for an innings.
Over the course of the last two weeks, the soft-signal ruling has created quite a stir in Indian cricket, with decisions going against the Indian team in the series against England. That irked the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who came out vocal about the ruling and stated that these rulings create an unnecessary ‘grey’ area in decision making.
However, ahead of the 2021 edition of the IPL, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that there would be no soft-signal. According to Cricbuzz’s reports, the onfield umpire’s decision won’t be taken as an ultimate decision, with the third-umpire having full power for such decisions.
"The on-field umpire giving soft signal while referring the decision to the third umpire will not be applicable," the BCCI stated, reported Cricbuzz.
"Should both on-field umpires require assistance from the third umpire to make a decision, the bowler's end umpire shall firstly take a decision on-field after consulting with the striker's end umpire, before consulting by two-way radio with the third umpire,” it added.
It would, however, have to be initiated by the bowler’s end umpire, who would have to make a decision alongside the third-umpire, with the third umpire’s words final for the decision.
“Such consultation shall be initiated by the bowler's end umpire to the third umpire by making the shape of a TV screen with his/her hands. The third umpire shall determine whether the batsman has been caught, whether the delivery was a bump ball, or if the batsman willfully obstructed the field. In case of a fair catch, the third umpire will use all the technological support available to him/her. The third umpire shall communicate his/her decision."
On the other hand, last year, there were several games that went beyond the stipulated time, which equally caused an outrage among the fans. In order to eliminate the proceedings of late games, BCCI has issued a strict 90-minute time restriction, in which an innings must be completed.
"As a measure to control the match timings, the 20th over in each innings is now included in 90 minutes, earlier the 20th over was to start on or before the 90th minute,” it added.
“For delayed or interrupted matches where an innings is scheduled to be less than 20 overs, the maximum time of 90 minutes shall be reduced by 4 minutes 15 seconds for every over by which the innings is reduced," it stated.
In the 2020 edition, there was one game, between the Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals, where an umpiring error, via a short-run decision cost the Punjab side two points. These changes would now come into effect from April 1.