Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman Against Use Of Placards To Guide Players During Matches
File image of Eoin Morgan in action during South Africa vs England T20I series©Twitter

England’s questionable strategy of relaying coded messages from the balcony to their on-field captain, seen during the recent T20I series vs South Africa. England captain Eoin Morgan defended the move of receiving signals from the dressing room during a T20I match but the former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman expressed objection over the use of placards during a live match. Gavaskar questioned that “would there be a code there as well to help with the decision of taking the DRS?”.

The television coverage of the third T20I between England and South Africa showed England’s white-ball analyst, Nathan Leamon, giving signals to the team. While Morgan had said it wasn’t against the spirit of the game, Gavaskar firmly put forward his stance on the incident and said this should not be happening in cricket.

“I would like to know if the match referee had confirmed this with the ICC? Did they ask ICC? Has the cricket committee of the ICC sanctioned this, we don’t know this yet. This is happening for the first time. We were told that this type of strategy was also used during Pakistan Super League and maybe this was the same person who adapted this technique who was an analyst there. But I don’t believe this should be happening in cricket. The second thing that is worrisome is during the situation of a DRS, would there be a code there as well to help with the decision of taking the DRS?” Gavaskar asked while speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

Gavaskar also said that “Ideally, as a captain, I would not like this thing to happen. If I was the captain, I would say, look if you want to send a message about any field placing or a bowling change, then send the 12th man across with a bottle of water or anything….a way you can pass the message or the 12th man or the coach can pass the message to the boundary fielder.”

Former India batsman VVS Laxman also echoed the sentiments and said a team does not require a captain if this forms a part of the rule. Meanwhile, former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, meanwhile, expressed his doubt on whether the system is effective at all.

“Often in T20 cricket if the captain needs to make a decision, he discusses it with the coach or the support staff or a senior player, and post that discussion a captain usually comes to a decision. But if this thing (use of placard) forms a part of the rule, then I believe it is not the right thing, as you want the captain to fulfill his role otherwise you don’t require a captain, and the team can be run from outside similar to football where the manager runs the team,” Laxman said.