Sending coded messages smart thinking and harmless to game: Allan Donald

By: Bipin Dani      Published: 07:37 PM, 12 Dec, 2020
Sending coded messages smart thinking and harmless to game: Allan Donald

Former South African pace bowler Allan Donald believes that England computer analyst's idea of sending coded messages to the team captain Eoin Morgan on the field of play during the 3rd ODI against South Africa was "harmless" to the game.

England analyst Nathan Leamon was seen hanging a series of coded messages from the team balcony — in combinations of letters and numbers — for the players out in the middle.

Speaking exclusively over the telephone from South Africa, he said: "The idea has come from the game of rugby and I don't see anything wrong in it. I don't think these coded messages had anything to do with the referrals. Two decorative gentlemen (Donald was referring to Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman) have criticised the innovation but I am sure these coded messages had no influence on the referrals.”

In fact, Donald himself admitted that there was an attempt by his coach to use technology to help the players on the field.

"In the 1999 World Cup in the UK, our coach (Bob Woolmer) was in contact with our captain (Hansie Cronje) and myself in certain scenarios and was highlighting certain threats posed by one or two batsmen. It was not two-way communication but we were just listening to him."

"Honestly I see it (sending coded messages) harmless. In my opinion, it is just good thinking from the box. I wonder why people think it is sinister. It is smart thinking on the contrary", added Donald.

MCC Monitoring

Following the relaying of signals from the dressing room balcony during the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has been monitoring the situation as Guardians of the Laws of the game.

"Currently, there is no provision for this in the Laws and at this stage, MCC sees the issue as falling under International Cricket Council (ICC) jurisdiction in terms of their Playing Conditions, as relaying information from coaching staff is not an event that will take place at all levels of the game", Fraser Stewart, the Lord’s Indoor Cricket Centre Manager, speaking exclusively, said.

"The event will be discussed in due course by the MCC Laws sub-committee, and by the Club’s Cricket committee and World Cricket committee next year," he added.