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Australia- South Africa Series

Stokes: ICC should get rid of soft signal



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Ben Stokes, England's Test captain, has criticized the use of soft signals in cricket when deciding whether to dismiss a player, claiming that only the third umpire should make the decision.

Stokes made the remark after Marnus Labuschagne was controversially given not out during Australia's third Test match against South Africa on Wednesday.

Labuschagne was caught at first slip in Australia's first innings. After Simon Harmer made a low catch, the fielding team thought Labuschagne was out. After the on-field umpires sent the decision to the third umpire, the bowling end umpire, Paul Reiffel, gave the soft signal for out.

"ICC should get rid of 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 said on Twitter.

According to ICC's playing conditions, "Soft signal is the visual communication by the bowler's end umpire to the third umpire (accompanied by additional information via two-way radio where necessary) of his/her initial on-field decision prior to initiating an Umpire Review."

"If the third umpire advises that the replay evidence is inconclusive, the on-field decision communicated at the start of the consultation process shall stand."

After reviewing the replays, the third umpire, Richard Kettleborough, changed his mind and declared the batter not out.