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Hello, am I speaking to Sherlock Holmes...

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Melbourne:Matthew Hoggard was able to see the lighter side of it, but England team management has launched an investigation into how team plans fell into the hands of the Australian media.

In another blow for the embattled tourists, copies of England's bowling plans for the Australian batsmen were apparently emailed to ABC Radio during the second day of the fourth Ashes Test here Wednesday and were subsequently broadcast during the station's cricket coverage.

England team management said it was unclear whether the plans had been removed from their rooms, or had been inadvertently left somewhere and found by a member of the public, although the ABC claimed the latter.

England media manager Andrew Walpole confirmed an investigation into the source of the leak was underway, but a cheeky Hoggard was more blunt.

"We've got seven plans up in the changing rooms and one of them has ended up in the opposition media's hands and someone has leaked the document," Hoggard said after Wednesday's play.

"We are continuing our investigations, and when we find him we are stringing him up by his ding dang doos."

The plans are prepared by England team analyst Mark Garaway as part of a video presentation on each Australian batsman which England study before the start of each Test.

They are then posted in the dressing rooms.

The plan recommended that the English play on Matthew Hayden's ego by trying to stop him scoring with "dot balls".

Hayden later responded to his perceived weaknesses, by saying: "It's not rocket science. You generally have to bowl the ball at the top of off-stump.

"We sit in team meetings for many hours and the one thing is that if you hit the top of off-stump generally that's when you are in the best position to take wickets."

Hoggard said it appeared the plans had been photocopied from the original.

"It is 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," he said.

"We've got detailed plan of how we want to get each batsman out. Unfortunately, someone has taken a picture or photocopy and given it to the Australians."

Hoggard said it was disappointing that the incident occurred, given the presence of three full-time security staff that work with the team.

"You'd think the security in international cricket was tighter than that," he said.

Walpole said team security was being reviewed as part of the investigation.

"We don't know whether the document was taken from the dressing room or another part of the ground -- we are trying to establish that," Walpole said.

"We are talking to the ICC (International Cricket Council) security manager and we are also talking to Cricket Australia and they are disappointed with it like we are."

Hoggard joked that England's finest detectives were on the case.

"Sherlock Holmes ... Inspector Morse, Miss Marple," he said.

Asked if the English were plotting to gain some revenge by getting their hands on Australia's plans, Hoggard had a dry response.

"Yeah, but it won't help us."

AFP

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