Ben Stokes has urged the ICC to SCRAP the ‘soft signal’ system after the third umpire overruled the on-field decision on Marnus Labuschagne’s VERY controversial call in the third Test in Sydney
- Ben Stokes has called for the ICC to scrap the soft signal going forward
- Marnus Labuschagne was given a lifeline in controversial fashion in Sydney
- England captain Stokes said to leave it in the hands of the third umpire
Ben Stokes has weighed in on the controversial umpiring decision that gave Marnus Labuschagne a lifeline in Sydney, insisting the ICC should abandon the use of ‘soft signals’ in cricket.
Labuschagne seemed unstoppable after lunch at the SCG on Wednesday, punishing Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj on his way to 70.
But the Proteas appeared to have a breakthrough they followed when Labuschagne hit a Marco Jansen delivery to Harmer, who took a low grab in the slips.
However, Labuschagne refused, and umpire Paul Reiffel gave a weak show signal as he sent the catch up for review.
Third umpire Richard Kettleborough reviewed several replays and was eventually satisfied there was enough evidence to overturn the poor signal, adjudging Labuschagne not out because the ball had touched the grass before Harmer caught it.
Recent changes in ICC protocols make it easier for the third umpire to overturn the soft signal.
Ben Stokes calls for ICC to scrap soft signals after controversial call in Sydney
But the Proteas were furious with the decision, believing Harmer had bowled cleanly, and England captain Stokes thought there should be a ‘soft signal’ review across cricket.
‘The ICC should be abolished [sic] the soft signal and let the 3rd umpire with all the technology make the decision when the on field umpires send it up,’ he tweeted.
‘All the controversy has always been around the soft signal given. This is not a comment on the decision FYI.’
Marnus Labuschagne was given away when Simon Harmer appeared to catch the ball he had hit
However, the third umpire overturned the decision much to the dismay of the Proteas
After stumps, Labuschagne said he believed the third umpire made the right decision while adding that at another time, he would have been able to handle Reiffel’s call on the chin.
‘If there is no TV (replays) then I’m walking,’ he told reporters.
‘But in the amount of slow-motion footage you see of the ball, you can see his fingers pushing and splitting.
‘According to the technicalities, some of the ball touches the grass, regardless of whether his fingers are under it or not.
England captain Stokes believes the ICC should look at removing soft signals
‘It was difficult because back in the day or even before we had this technology or camera work, they would just send you packing.’
After the third umpire gave his decision, Proteas captain Dean Elgar objected to umpire Chris Gaffaney, clearly aware of the importance of the dangerous Labuschagne left in the middle at 1-130.
Anrich Nortje signaled that South Africa should use their DRS analysis in the third umpire’s decision.
‘If you look at the angles, to us it looks like fingers underneath,’ says Nortje.
‘Unfortunately we didn’t get that one. I think it’s going to be a big one at that stage. We are convinced that it is out there.’
Labuschagne was eventually dismissed for 79 runs off the bowling of Nortje.