The Kolkata Knight Riders confirmed Eoin Morgan as their captain midway through the last season. They didn’t have the best of times since he has come in, but they seemed to be fighting back in UAE. This season, they also England’s analyst Nathan Leamon in their ranks, despite the presence of a well-established name among analysts in AR Srikkanth.
Nathan Leamon and Eoin Morgan have been working together for a while. The duo has worked out some unique things during games, which seems to be helping the English and KKR captain. Leamon tends to put some numbers in bold letters on a pad and hang it on the dressing room balcony, for it to be visible to Eoin Morgan.
Having seen that a number of times before, the number codes appeared again today during the game between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
— Jabjabavas (@jabjabavas) September 23, 2021
Nathan Leamon is back with those codes for Morgan from the dugout.
Was done during the Eng SA series, now for #KKR.
— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) April 11, 2021
There is a suggestion that it could be to ensure Morgan isn’t getting mainstream with his bowling changes or field setups, with each number meaning a different thing. One could think it is something the entire team discusses, but if one of Nitish Rana‘s interviews from the first phase are to be believed, no cricketer in the KKR setup besides the captain and Leamon understand what those numbers stand for.
It first came to the fore in the Pakistan Super League with the Multan Sultans where Leamon would feed inputs to skipper Shan Masood in codes that the player understood. The decision-making still rested on the on-field captain.
“It was to do with match-ups,” says Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan in the past had mentioned that those codes had something to do with matchups, which indicates that the codes are a reminder for Morgan as to which bowler has a better chance of picking a wicket against a particular batsman. It can get pretty difficult in the middle sometimes for the captain to remember tactics and numbers that are discussed in the pre-game buildup.
In the past, Hansie Cronje and Bob Woolmer had famously tried using earpieces to communicate between the game. However, Cricket remains a little rigid in letting technology intervene to that extent. However, what Morgan and Leamon are doing is a smark hack figured out by the analyst to communicate during a game and not breach any code of conduct.