Asia Cup: Lanka Coach Sends Coded Signals For Players From Dressing Room; Is It Legal?

Dubai: It was a do-or-die match for both teams, with a Super Fours berth in Asia Cup beckoning for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The stakes were sky high as Afghanistan had beaten both these teams and already booked one of the two Super Fours slots from Group B.

The tension was palpable after Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and asked Shakib Al Hasan-led Bangladesh to bat first.

After a moderate start, Bangladesh batsmen upped the tempo with Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Afif Hossain playing some cheeky shots.

As the likes of T20I debutant Asitha Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne started to leak runs, the Sri Lankan thinktank decided to send out some messages to the captain. Not by sending a ‘messenger’ to the field with a bottle of drink – which is usually the case in a cricket match – but through some coded signals from the dressing room itself.

With head coach Chris Silverwood seated next to him, the team analyst was seen sending coded messages to the captain and players. Among the codes were ‘2D’ and ‘D5’.

While this is a recent innovation in the game, there is no rule or law which bars such tactics from outside the field.

Silverwood, in fact, had resorted to such messages when he was the coach of England. It was in the T20 International series in South Africa in 2020 that Silverwood communicated with then-white ball captain Eoin Morgan on the field.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had criticized Silverwood’s move, but Morgan defended his coach saying it was “100 per cent within the spirit of the game”.

On Thursday, Bangladesh fans didn’t take to Silverwood’s coded signals too kindly.

“If signals are sent from the dressing room, then what is the role of a captain in the field? Cricket is not football,” wrote a fan.

Another use wrote such coded signals should not be allowed by International Cricket Council.

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