Bowling plans were 'stolen' from England, says Botham

Ian Botham was adamant that England's bowling plans, which were read out on air yesterday, were stolen from the team's dressing room during the fourth Ashes Test here.

The former England batsman David Gower, discussing the leaked plans here on Sky Sports, asked Botham about how the document was "found". Botham replied: "You say found... It was a stolen piece of paper out of the dressing room and should not be stolen. Just who was in the dressing room and what else has been stolen?"

The ABC radio commentator Jim Maxwell felt the station had done little wrong by reading out the plans on air after being e-mailed a copy of England's tactics for dealing with the Australia's batsmen. Unfortunately for England the plans appeared to have little impact as Australia reached 372 for 7 on the second day, a lead of 213.

"It was an attachment to an e-mail which seemed to specify the plans for all the Australian batsmen," Maxwell said. "It was a lovely bit of information about all the Australia batsmen and their weaknesses and what England needed to do to get them out. I can't see how any harm has been done. If this gets out into the open it is not earth-shattering news, is it? Whatever the tactics they weren't working."

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