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Ben Stokes Wants ICC To Scrap This Rule

Ben Stokes Wants ICC To Scrap This Rule


Speaking on the Marnus Labuschagne catch controversy on Day 1 of the ongoing South Africa-Australia Test at the SCG, England’s Test captain Ben Stokes has suggested ICC scrap the Soft Signal rule as in this case, that rule didn’t bear any weight in the final decision of the third umpire.

In the 40th over of Australia’s first innings, with Marnus Labuschagne batting and well set on 70, left-arm pacer Marco Jansen, from around the wicket angle was successful in getting the outside edge from the batter who attempted a cover drive. Simon Harmer at first slip went low and took a catch, which he was confident that he’d taken it cleanly and so were his teammates with the Protea wicket-keeper Kyle Verreynne even showing the Out signal to the umpire.

Marnus Labuschagne, though, didn’t move anywhere, and the umpire Paul Reiffel decided to take the matters upstairs; as often is the case, the celebration by the fielder and the fielder team made the umpire compelled to signal his Soft Signal as Out.

Now, the rule is that, in order to overturn the on-field umpire’s Soft signal call, the third umpire must have conclusive evidence. In this case, to overturn Paul Reiffel’s Soft signal of Out, the third umpire needed at least one frame of video where he has to be certain that the ball touched the ground/grass.

While the third umpire thought he saw the ball touching the grass, the South African fielders were unhappy. Their faces told the story that they were confident Harmer’s fingers were underneath the ball, which also very well be the case. The third umpire overturned the on-field Soft signal of out and flashed NOT OUT on the giant screen as Labuschagne got to bat more, though he could only add 9 more runs after that.

This has created a big controversy - twice in two days from the Australian shores after Adam Zampa attempted a run-out at the non-striker's end in the BBL but botched it as he had turned his arm over before stopping and whipping the bails off - with fans and experts debating on the eventual call from the third umpire.

One thing, which perhaps everyone has been criticising for the past few years, is the Soft Signal - which is basically the on-field umpire giving his call based on the celebration(or lack of) from the fielder.

Ben Stokes demanded that the ICC should just scrap this Soft signal drama

He added that it should be left to the third umpire to make his decision based on the evidence from the technology and not be swayed by the on-field umpire’s opinion.

“ICC should get rid off the soft signal and let the 3rd umpire who has all the technology to make the decision when the on field umpires send it upstairs,all the controversy is always around the soft signal given,” Stokes tweeted.