Eng­land not cry­ing ‘foul play’ in plan leak fi­asco

Townsville Bulletin - - Cricket -

THE English cricket team has ruled out foul play but is con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate how its bowl­ing plan for the Box­ing Day Test be­came pub­lic.

A state­ment from the Melbourne Cricket Club yes­ter­day strongly sug­gested the rea­son for the em­bar­rass­ing blun­der was the care­less­ness of an Eng­land team of­fi­cial.

‘‘There is gen­eral ac­cep­tance the doc­u­ment was not taken from the dress­ing room — we still have con­cerns as to how it got into the hands of a mem­ber of the pub­lic,’’ Eng­land spokesman Andrew Walpole said.

‘‘There are still is­sues that need to be ex­plained and re­solved as far as we’re con­cerned.

‘‘We’re not ac­cus­ing any­one or point­ing the fin­ger at any­one.’’

Cricket fan Nick Ruthry found the page, which out­lined Eng­land’s bowl­ing tac­tics for the match, and emailed it to ABCRa­dio on Wed­nes­day.

The MCC yes­ter­day joined Cricket Aus­tralia in con­firm­ing there was no breach of se­cu­rity in or around the play­ers’ dress­ing rooms.

‘‘An Eng­land team of­fi­cial printed sev­eral copies of an in­ter­nal doc­u­ment on day one of the Test match from an MCC ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice and, to the best of our knowl­edge, all printed copies were handed to that of­fi­cial,’’ the MCC said in a state­ment.

‘‘One of th­ese copies was found by a pa­tron in the Mem­bers’ Re­serve and dis­trib­uted to me­dia out­lets on day two.

‘‘The MCC be­lieve that there was no breach of se­cu­rity in­volved in the print­ing of th­ese doc­u­ments.’’

Aus­tralian cricket of­fi­cials were clearly re­lieved that the in­ci­dent had not com­pro­mised the tight se­cu­rity sur­round­ing the play­ers for this se­ries.

‘‘From Cricket Aus­tralia’s point of view, the MCC and lo­cal event se­cu­rity have ac­cepted this piece of pa­per did not come from the player rooms — there is no breach of se­cu­rity in or around the player rooms,’’ said CA spokesman Philip Pope.

WHAT NOW? . . . Eng­land fast-bowl­ing spear­heads Matthew Hog­gard, Steve Harmi­son and Andrew Flintoff ponder their next move dur­ing the fourth Test

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