Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 1
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 04: Umpire Chris Gaffaney (L) measures the light during day one of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 04, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 1

The International Cricket Counsel has confirmed that the soft signal will be scrapped, ending years of controversy over the rule.

The soft signal requires umpires to make an initial call on field before consulting the third umpire, meaning the third umpire could only overturn the decision with conclusive evidence, a rule that has attracted criticism throughout its lifespan.

Despite the soft signal being scrapped by the Indian Premier League years ago, the ICC have persisted until now, with the rule to be gone before June's World Test Championship final between Australia and India.

ICC cricket committee chair Sourav Ganguly confirmed the news in a statement.

“Soft signals have been discussed at previous cricket committee meetings over the last couple of years,” Ganguly said.

Australia v India: 3rd Test: Day 4
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 10: Umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson speak during a suspension in play following a complaint by Mohammed Siraj of India regarding spectators behind him during day four of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 10, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“The committee deliberated this at length and concluded that soft signals were unnecessary and at times confusing since referrals of catches may seem inconclusive in replays.”

The soft signal was not the only change made by the ICC, with two other rule tweaks introduced.

Players in high risk positions, like close-in fielders and batters facing fast bowlers, will now be required to wear a helmet under ICC rules. While the Counsel has also confirmed that any runs scored when the ball hits the stumps and ricochets off will now be given as runs, not byes.

"We also discussed player safety, which is very important for us.," Ganguly said.

"The committee decided that it was best to make the use of helmets mandatory in certain positions to ensure the safety of players."

The rule changes come into affect on June 1, with the World Test Championship to begin in London on June 7.