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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 07:57 GMT
Bowling plans leak angers England
England skipper Andrew Flintoff
England endured another disappointing day at the MCG
England's embarrassment was increased on day two of the fourth Test after their bowling plans for each Australian batsmen were leaked to the media.

The plans are prepared by team analyst Mark Garaway before each match and pinned up in the dressing room.

But a copy turned up in the hands of ABC Radio and was read out on air as England tried to break a stand between Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds.

They put on 279 to help Australia into a 213-run lead at close of play.

ABC claim the plans were e-mailed to them by a source, but England believe they must have been taken from their team room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"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 security manager and we're also talking to Cricket Australia, who are as disappointed about this as we are," England media spokesman Andrew Walpole.

It was an attachment to an e-mail which seemed to specify the plans for all the Australian batsmen

ABC's Jim Maxwell

England seam bowler Matthew Hoggard described the leak as "very disappointing".

"We have detailed plans of how we want to get each batsman out. We've got them on an A4 piece of paper.

"It's laminated and we've got colour co-ordination and unfortunately someone has take a copy of it and handed it to the Australians.

"You would have thought the security in international cricket was tighter than that, but unfortunately it's been leaked," he said.

The International Cricket Council is aware of the matter but has not been asked to look into it by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The document advised England's bowlers to keep Hayden tied down with dot balls and to position a catcher on the edge of the pitch - but neither strategy was effective during his innings of 153.


It also suggested that Symonds was susceptible to short-pitched bowling, but despite being tested out with an occasional bouncer, he was never once tempted to play the hook shot and was unbeaten on 154 at close of play.

England's plans were, however, spot on as far as home skipper Ricky Ponting was concerned as he pulled a catch to Alastair Cook just in front of square, exactly where Garaway had picked out a potential weakness.

ABC commentator Jim Maxwell insisted they had done nothing wrong in bringing the plans to the public's attention.

"I don't think it was particularly mischievous to read it out - I can't see how any harm has been done. If this gets out into the open it's not earth-shattering news, is it?

"As we said at the time, whatever the tactics were, they weren't working," he said.

And former England skipper Mike Gatting played down the significance of the issue.

"It is nice to have plans in case you need to refresh your memory, but bowlers know what they have to do. They go through it in their minds," he told BBC Five Live.

"It's all in the brain. People are making too much of it."

Hayden was equally dismissive, saying: "Generally you have to bowl the ball at the top of off stump. The best bowlers of all time have exploited that option.

"Glenn McGrath is relentless with his lines and lengths - it's not rocket science."

England's bowling plans revealed
27 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
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