Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Twitter on England but Don't Give Away Our Ashes Secrets; Cricket Chiefs Won't Block Tweeters on Tour despite the Latest Case of Talking out of Turn in the Australia Camp. Tom Collomosse

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Twitter on England but Don't Give Away Our Ashes Secrets; Cricket Chiefs Won't Block Tweeters on Tour despite the Latest Case of Talking out of Turn in the Australia Camp. Tom Collomosse

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse

ENGLAND cricket bosses are likely to resist calls to ban the players from using Twitter during this winter's Ashes tour of Australia despite problems in the recent past.

Kevin Pietersen was fined and Tim Bresnan found himself in hot water over comments on the site, while former England Under-19 captain Azeem Rafiq was suspended for a month following a foul-worded tirade at his coach.

England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas was similarly uncomplimentary about national team selector Geoff Miller and was fined [pounds sterling]1,000.

However, Standard Sport understands the players will be allowed to tweet while Down Under -- although restrictions may be imposed, such as a ban on using the site during a Test match or making comments which could compromise strategies.

Pietersen's mistake was the most high profile. Believing he was replying to a private message, the batsman expressed his anger at being dropped from the Twenty20 and one-day squads against Pakistan, for which he was fined an undisclosed sum by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Last year, Bresnan berated a follower who posted a doctored picture that made the pace bowler appear ludicrously fat. While there is the potential for accidents, the feeling is that Twitter is an excellent way of enabling the players to appeal to a younger audience.

Graeme Swann is the squad's most prolific tweeter and has more than 73,000 followers. The off-spinner and pace bowler Jimmy Anderson, who has more than 67,000 followers, have a running competition to see who can attract the most interest.

But Twitter's ability to cause controversy was highlighted again last week when Shane Warne used the site to mock Ricky Ponting's field placings during Australia's Second Test defeat by India. Warne expressed his surprise at tactics employed by Ponting when spinner Nathan Hauritz was bowling in Bangalore.

He wrote on Twitter: "How the hell can Hauritz bowl to this field Feeling for Hauritz, terrible! …

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