The soft signal rule was once again called into question after a catch claimed by New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson off his own bowling was not given out. Interestingly, the soft signal given by the on-field umpire was out, but the third umpire overruled the decision.
The incident occurred during the 15th over of the second ODI between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Christchurch. Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal uppishly drove a fuller delivery back to the bowler. In his follow-through, Kyle Jamieson went low to his left and took a brilliant catch.
However, according to the third umpire as Kyle Jamieson went down, he wasn't in full control of the ball. After zooming in, the TV umpire concluded that the ball was touching the ground, and hence overturned the on-field decision.
Iqbal was on 34 when he survived the close call. He went on to score 78 from 108 balls, which was incidentally his 50th half-century in ODI. The opener hit 11 fours before being run out by Jimmy Neesham, who kicked the ball onto the stumps and caught the batsman short.
New Zealand are 1-0 up in the three-match series, having won the first ODI in Dunedin by eight wickets.
Soft signal rule led to controversy during India-England T20I series as well
The soft signal rule led to a major controversy during the fourth T20I between India and England in Ahmedabad. Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav, batting on 57, played a lap-sweep off Sam Curran.
The ball traveled towards Dawid Malan, who dived in front of him and claimed the catch. Although the on-field umpire was nowhere near the scene of the action, he had to give a soft signal as per the rule, and decided to give out.
Since replays were inconclusive, the third umpire stayed with the on-field call.
Unhappy with the soft signal rule, Indian captain Virat Kohli questioned the soft signal rule after the team's victory.
“When there's a half-and-half effort the soft signal becomes more important. I don't know why there can't an "I don't know" call for the umpires. You want these things ironed out to keep the game linear. But we want clarity on the field," Kohli said.
In a recent press conference, Kohli also took a dig at England over the "soft signal" controversy. Kohli pointed out that had Team India claimed a similar dismissal overseas, it would have led to major debates about the "spirit of the game".