ICC rules: No ‘soft signal’ in World Test Championship final | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The Land ‘soft signal‘ referees will be a thing of the past as it has been removed from the playing conditions for the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia in London next month.
THE International Cricket Council (ICC) also announced further changes to playing conditions on Monday as of June 1.
The “soft signal” while returning catches to the third referee had become a contentious issue over the years, with players around the world criticizing the practice. Previously, referees on the pitch would return a hold that needed to be checked to the third referee, but also give a signal suggesting their own decision.
The third referee had to have “conclusive evidence” to overturn the on-field appeal. At present, these catches will only be decided by the third referee.
The playing conditions were reworked by the ICC cricket committee headed by former India captain Sourav Ganguly. The ‘soft signal’ was also abolished from the IPL two years ago when Ganguly was Chairman of the Indian Cricket Board.
“Soft Signals have been discussed at previous Cricket Committee meetings over the past two years. The committee deliberated extensively and concluded that the inconspicuous signals were unnecessary and sometimes confusing, as capture referrals can appear inconclusive in replays,” Ganguly said in a statement released by the ICC.
The ICC stuck to the “quiet signal” for almost a decade to retain the human element in referee decision-making, which was quickly supported by technology.
Inconclusive captures have been a very sensitive issue over the years, leading to instances where the integrity of players has also been questioned for claiming a capture.
In most cases, camera angles could not yield conclusive images of questionable takes and rarely calls from the field were canceled.
England Test captain Ben Stokes had spoken about the suitability of the soft signal after controversy in a Test match between Australia and South Africa earlier this year.
“ICC should get rid of the soft signal and let the 3rd referee who has all the technology to make the decision when the referees on the field send him upstairs. The whole controversy always revolves around the soft signal given. This doesn’t is not a comment on the FYI decision,” Stokes wrote on Twitter.

Projectors authorized for WTC Final
The ICC also authorized the use of floodlights during the WTC Finals. Like the last WTC final between India and New Zealand in Southampton in 2021, the ICC has also retained the sixth day which is a reserved day if the match is affected by bad weather.
Confusion on the free kick
There was confusion over the free kick rule, with the ICC saying a “minor addition” had been made to it and runs scored on a free kick would count as runs to the batter, not byes. However, the ICC quickly clarified that this was not the case.
The rule remains the same: runs scored after a batter has been thrown on a free kick will still be credited as extras.
Helmets must
With an increase in concussion incidents on the pitch, the Cricket Committee has also made helmets compulsory for batters facing fast bowlers, wicket-keepers following the stumps and fielders in close position in front of the wicket.
“…The committee decided that it was best to make it mandatory to wear helmets in certain positions to ensure the safety of players,” Ganguly said.


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