England is increasingly criticized for displaying coded signals from the dressing room. Former captain Michael Vaughan described this as “nonsense”.
Team analyst Nathan Leamon was spotted by television cameras placing cards with messages like “4E” and “2C” to provide information to Captain Eoin Morgan.
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It is believed that they relate to how historical data suggests that South African batsmen might play certain English bowlers.
The strategy was clarified in advance by referee Andy Pycroft.
But Vaughan said it was “nonsense” and tweeted, “You’re telling me you can’t get this information privately? I like information, but that’s a step too far.”
English Vice-Captain Jos Buttler joked that the signs showed lottery numbers before comparing them to the tactical break in the Indian Premier League.
The ECB said the system was “a live source of information that the captain can use or ignore at will. They are not orders or instructions and all decisions are made in the field. “
Some drew parallels with former South African coach Bob Woolmer, who communicated with captain Hansie Cronje through an earphone during the 1999 World Cup. The tactic was quickly banned.
English fast bowler Mark Wood usually saw the fun side.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve. Maybe it is. The analyst gets a scorecard like Craig Revel Horwood and we have a new game show,” said Wood.
“I thought there would be shoe sizes one day. Until this morning I honestly didn’t even know about it. I took so much attention.
“Morgy is a very instinctive captain so I’m not sure he needs a lot of help, but it’s great to have the information there.”
The controversy overshadowed Dawid Malan, who became the batsman with the highest international Twenty20 ranking of all time.
In his first 19 innings, he was fifty for the tenth time – six fewer than it took Windie’s superstar bat Chris Gayle to hit the milestone.
“A statistic was read in the locker room last night that Chris Gayle had ten fifties in 20 games and Dawid did it in 19,” said Wood.
“Gayle calls himself the Universe Boss, so we started calling Dawid the Milky Way Boss. It is from now on. “
Malan now has an international T20 career average of 53.43 and a hit rate of 149.47.
He was already top of the rankings, but his 173 runs in three games against South Africa brought his record to 915 points (up from 1,000), 44 points ahead of Pakistan’s Babar Azam.
The highest rank ever achieved in the Test of Cricket was 961 from the legendary Aussie Sir Donald Bradman, widely considered the greatest batsman of all time.
And the one-day international best was 935 from another icon in game history – Viv Richards of the Windies.
So Malan keeps decent company.
Despite his remarkable form, he failed to make the English squad for the three 50-over games against the Proteas starting Friday and is flying home.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.