The cons of soft signal completely outweigh the pros: Broad

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12 Jun 2021 | 04:28 PM
authorcricket.com staff

The cons of soft signal completely outweigh the pros: Broad

The English pacer has urged the ICC to do away with the soft signal at the earliest

Echoing what Virat Kohli said in March this year, Stuart Broad has asked the ICC to do away with the soft signal. Broad made no attempt to hide his anguish on the second day of the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after Devon Conway benefitted from the on-field soft signal.

Batting on 22, Conway nicked a Broad delivery to Zak Crawley in the slip cordon, who gathered the ball in front of him. The on-field umpires referred the decision to the TV umpire with a soft signal of not out.

In the absence of conclusive evidence, the TV umpire went with the on-field umpires' decision despite TV replays showing Crawley had his fingers under the ball. Before being dismissed later in the day, off Broad's bowling, Conway added 58 more runs to his innings.

Broad feels that the soft-signal 'ties the hands of the third umpire'.

"You can see from our reaction on the field that we thought it was out," Broad told Sky Sports before the third day's play. "Zak thought he had his fingers under the ball and you only have to look at Joe Root's reaction at first slip and James Bracey's reaction behind the stumps -- who are a yard away from it -- to know that that ball has carried."

"But I feel for the umpires in this situation. It's not the umpires' fault that they're 40 yards away - potentially 60 yards in white-ball cricket - with maybe an obscured view. It's actually the ruling that's putting the umpires in a really difficult situation. It's having to get a soft signal. You're going upstairs because you're not sure whether it's carried or not."

"So then to have to give an opinion whether you think it has put the umpire in a really tricky position. Then the third umpire's hands are tied a little bit with whatever that on-field call is," he added.

Broad has asked the ICC to look into the matter at the earliest. 

"So, my question is: do you think that the ICC need to look at changing that rule because it just seems to put their staff in a tricky position?"

Asked if he wants the rule to be changed, Broad replied: "I do, absolutely. When you calmly look at the pros and cons of the soft signal, the cons completely outweigh the pros. So to me, that looks as if it's a poor ruling."

"I don't really see the point of waiting for another ICC meeting in September or wherever it comes to discuss what's going on in the game. Surely the umpires are now in a position where they get unfairly criticised for a decision that they're not sure about because they want to go and use the technology.

"Let's just do away with it now. The ICC should just come out and say 'the soft signal is gone.' If the umpires are unsure, let's go through the amazing technology we've got and get the right decision," he added.

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