Disappointed England investigate tactics ‘leak’

ENGLAND have launched an investigation into how their detailed bowling plans for the fourth Ashes Test were leaked and broadcast on Australian radio station ABC.

While the tourists struggled to end a 279-run stand between Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds, which enabled Australia to establish a 213-run lead by reaching 372 for seven at the close of the second day, their management team were facing embarrassment off the pitch.

Australia’s leading radio station were e-mailed the document by an unnamed source and revealed to their listeners how England plans for bowling to Symonds included the phrase “Bouncer Essential”.

Their plans for Hayden suggested bowling dot balls at him would spark what they describe as “ego” and p tempt him into hitting out in a desperate attempt to increase his strike rate.

England believe the plans were copied from their original and have begun an inquiry into how the situation occurred.

“There were several copies of the team bowling plans which are pinned up in the dressing room during the Test match and a copy of this plan has ended up in the possession of the media,” admitted England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman Andrew Walpole.

“We are continuing our investigations into how it happened.

“We don’t know at this stage whether the document was taken from the dressing room or from another part of the ground.

“We’re talking to the ICC (International Cricket Council) Security Manager and we’re also talking to Cricket Australia, who are as disappointed about this as we are.”

Whether the plans being made public affected England’s performance or not is unclear, but what is apparent is that they had limited success, with Symonds finishing unbeaten on 154 and, although he hit 15 fours and a six, none of them were achieved by hooking a short ball.

The plans, drawn up by team analyst Mark Garaway as part of a video presentation on each batsman studied by England’s bowlers before each Test, were also less than successful against Hayden, who hammered 13 fours and two sixes before finally falling for 153.

Perhaps the only success of the plans was early in the day when Ricky Ponting was caught pulling a ball from outside off stump off Andrew Flintoff – a mode of dismissal which was outlined in the plans.

“It’s very disappointing that you’ve got a document that is personal and private in your changing rooms and unfortunately someone has leaked it and taken it out of there,” claimed seamer Matthew Hoggard.

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