Soft signal rule in IPL: The soft signal rule is among the four rule changes which will be implemented in Indian Premier League 2021.
During the fourth T20I of the recently concluded England’s tour of India in Ahmedabad, India batsman Suryakumar Yadav’s dismissal had become the topic of debate as third umpire Virender Sharma not getting conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire’s “soft signal” was unfathomable for cricket experts and fans.
“There was an instance during the Test series when I was next to Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] and he clearly caught the ball but he wasn’t sure so we went upstairs. If it is a half and half effort and the fielder is in doubt, there is no way the umpire from square leg can see it clearly. The soft signal becomes that important and it becomes tricky. I don’t know why there can’t be an ‘I don’t know’ call with the umpires as well.
“It is similar to umpire’s call as well. These are decisions that can change the course of the game, especially in these big games. We were on the receiving side today, and tomorrow it could be some other team. You want these ironed out and keep the game really simple and linear. It isn’t ideal in high pressure games and have a lot of clarity on the field,” India captain Virat Kohli had told Star Sports during the presentation ceremony with respect to Yadav’s dismissal.
Cracked off on the timeline with that catch! 😳
Athers totally right on commentary.
The issue is with the soft signal given from distance. 3rd umpire needs conclusive evidence to overturn. Had to give it out.
Malan wouldn’t have known a lot about it taking it at speed.
— Charles Dagnall (@CharlesDagnall) March 18, 2021
It wasn’t the first time when an on-field umpire’s soft signal had received an enormous amount of rage from the viewers. However, with ICC’s board meeting last month hinting at “revising” the soft signal rule especially for catches, it appears that there wouldn’t be many similar decisions in the near future.
Soft signal rule in IPL 2021
As far as the same rule in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League is concerned, the IPL has already amended it taking away the authority from on-field umpires for such appeals.
In addition to “soft signal” for such doubtful catches, on-field umpires will no longer be eligible to take a decision on “obstructing the field” dismissals as both will directly be referred to the third umpire, who has the liberty of not giving a real-time decision and watching multiple replays of an incident.
“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 IPL had said in a statement published on its website last month.
How an umpiring blunder cost Kings XI Punjab the match against Delhi… Jordan had touched his bat behind the line and yet umpire’s called it a short run… that one run took the game to Super Over… Blunder !
— Shahid Hashmi (@hashmi_shahid) September 20, 2020
Apart from the aforementioned changes, the third umpire will also call a short run (if any) during IPL 2021 matches. It is worth mentioning that a faulty short run call from an on-field umpire had resulted in a loss for the Lokesh Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the last IPL season.