Ben Stokes Calls For Immediate Rule Change After England’s T20 Defeat By South Africa


Ben Stokes called for a rule change on Twitter after England was defeated by South Africa in the second T20I after Rile Rossouw survived a caught-behind shout from Jos Buttler.

In response to England’s 58-run loss to South Africa in the second Twenty20 International in Cardiff, Stokes has called for the abolition of the “soft signal” rule.

England vs South Africa (Image Credits: Twitter)
England vs South Africa (Image Credits: Twitter)

Buttler, the wicketkeeper, felt he had taken a clear catch after diving across after gloving a ball from Chris Jordan down the leg side. Rossouw was, however, given a not-out call by the umpire, which prompted Buttler to request a review.

South Africa v England
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

When the replay was slowed down, it appeared that the ball had bounced just as Buttler was catching it, even though it appeared that he had made a clean catch in real-time. Rossouw, 32, went on to play a match-winning innings as a result of the third umpire’s not-out decision.

‘can we get rid of the soft signal now’: Ben Stokes

When responding to the incident on Twitter, Ben Stokes chose to focus on the fact that the third umpire made his decision without being influenced by a “soft signal” from the on-field umpires rather than express his view on whether he thought Rossouw was out. Ben Stokes wrote:

“Ohh 3rd umpire decides with out a soft can we get rid of the soft signal now….PLEASE!”

The umpires typically analyse catches like the one Buttler made, giving the third umpire a “soft signal” to indicate whether they believe the ball bounced or not. The third umpire must then uncover convincing evidence to refute the “soft signal,” which is typically challenging given that television replays only offer a 2D image.

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler. (Photo: Twitter)

Catches near to the ground frequently appear as though the ball has been grounded first because they foreshorten and flatten the image. However, there was no “soft signal” in this instance because Buttler looked it over and assumed the umpire did not think Rossouw had hit the ball.

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