As the upcoming season of Indian Premier League already underwent through several changes, it sees another change added to the list. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly decided to remove of the use of soft signals by the on-field umpire while referring a decision to the third umpire in IPL 2021.
With the debate regarding the topic getting heated up over the past few weeks during T-20 series between India and England, the governing body decided to have no soft signal rule in the 14th edition of the lucrative T-20 tournament.
In the recent T-20 game against England, Suryakumar Yadav was considered to be out by the third-umpire since there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field umpire’s soft signal of ‘out’. Controversy followed when the replays showed the otherwise, where it was not clear whether it was a clean take by Malan. The up-stair umpire Virender Sharma upheld the on-field umpire’s ‘soft signal’ due to lack of evidence.
In view of this, the BCCI has made changes to Appendix D – Clause 2.2.2 of the playing conditions for the IPL, where they cited – “Soft Signal: On-field Umpire giving Soft Signal while referring the decision to the 3rd Umpire will not be applicable.”
Regarding this issue, Virat Kohli too spoke for it where he emphasised on the decision to be taken carefully as “there is a lot at stake in bigger tournaments.” He questioned the guidelines that is liable to break the spirit of the game, and added by saying, “You do not want any grey area hampering the game and it leaves with you no clarity.”
Along with the removal of soft signals in IPL, the BCCI has given a significant amount of authority to the third umpire on certain decisions. In the updated guidelines, the third umpire has been granted the authority to overrule decisions by the on-field umpires in cases of short runs as well as no balls. Additionally, the update in the rules also includes the control of match timings, where the 20th over in each innings will now be included in 90 minutes, which was previously set to start on or before the 90th minute.
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