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Ben Stokes asks for immediate change in rule after a controversy during the England vs South Africa 2nd T20I

Ben Stokes

England star all-rounder Ben Stokes has exhorted the cricket’s governing body to abolish the ‘soft-signal’ rule after England’s 58-run defeat to South Africa in the second T20I in Cardiff. Rilee Rossouw scored a brilliant 96 off 55 balls to guide his team to victory but England Captain Jos Buttler was unhappy with the umpire’s decision and believed that Roussouw should’ve been given out when he was on 37.

Buttler took a brilliant diving catch down the leg side off the bowling of Chris Jordan and was sure that he had collected the ball cleanly. However, the umpire gave Rossouw not out, making Buttler go for a review.

In real-time, the catch looked clean but when the replay was slowed down, the ball seemed to have bounced just before Buttler caught it. As a result, the third umpire gave the decision as not out which resulted in Rossouw playing a stupendous knock to take South Africa’s total to 207.

Reacting to the moment, Stokes took to Twitter and asked to get rid of the ‘soft-signal’ rule as the on-field umpires didn’t give any soft signal to the third umpire. He wrote: “Ohh 3rd umpire makes a decision without a soft can we get rid of the soft signal now….PLEASE!”


Jos Buttler was adamant that he had taken the catch cleanly and expressed his regret on the decision in the post-match presentation.

“I thought I had it,” he said. “But the people who matter disagreed. It’s frustrating to have lost and we are trying and working hard to be more consistent, but we’ve not managed to string our best games together.

“Sunday is a pressure game and will be a good test for where we are as a team. We haven’t won a series yet this summer which we are not accustomed to,” Buttler added.

Coming back to the match, chasing 208 for victory in the second T20I England lost wickets in regular intervals and faltered in the chase. They were bundled out for 149 in 16.4 overs. Andile Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi picked up 3 wickets each to hand England a 58-run loss.

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