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England’s strategy of relaying coded messages from balcony divides opinion

One former England captain has expressed shock at England's ploy of relaying messages, but another captain has said he sees nothing wrong with it.

By: Sports Desk | December 2, 2020 2:37:27 pm
englandEngland analyst Nathan Leamon was hanging messages from the team balcony during the 3rd T20I vs South Africa. (Screenshot)

England skipper Eoin Morgan was relayed coded messages from the dressing room during their 3rd T20I vs South Africa on Tuesday. While one former England captain Michael Vaughan has expressed shock at this ploy, another captain Michael Atherton has said he sees nothing wrong with it.

England analyst Nathan Leamon had placed a series of numbers and letters on clipboards on the team’s dressing room balcony to give Morgan suggestions regarding on-field match-ups during South Africa’s innings.

The England and Wales Cricket Board described the system as a “live informational resource” that Morgan could choose to use or ignore on the field, according to Reuters. The tourists have cleared the use of coded messages with the match referee and anti-corruption officials, according to the board.

While the move did not impress Vaughan, Sky Sports analyst Michael Atherton said, “I am okay with it. It is very different to Bob Woolmer feeding stuff in real time to Hansie Cronje in the 1999 World Cup through an earpiece.”

Jos Buttler, England vice-captain, told Sky Sports: “Analysis has become such a huge part of the game.”

“You have to be careful how you use the information best – there still has to be an instinctive, intuitive side to the game but if you can use analysis to better that then it is a force for good,” he added.

England cantered to their pursuit of 192 for 3-0 for a series sweep, with Dawid Malan (99 not out from 47 balls) and Buttler (67no off 46) smashing an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 167 in 85 balls as the tourists eased home in 17.4 overs.

Victory at Newlands completed a 3-0 series sweep for England and sent them to the top of the International Cricket Council’s T20 rankings.

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