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Page last updated at 07:35 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 08:35 UK

Bell a victim of Twitter hoaxer

Ian Bell
Bell notched a total of 11 runs in both innings at Headingley last week

England and Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has become the victim of a hoaxer on the social networking site Twitter.

Bell, whose spot in the final Ashes Test is under threat after a poor show at Headingley, was believed to have posted comments about his preparation.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed in a statement: "These remarks were definitely not posted by Ian Bell.

"They are the work of a hoaxer and therefore should be disregarded."

Bell, 27, was drafted into the England squad for the third Test at Edgbaston - hitting 53 in England's innings, but struggled for runs in the fourth Test defeat by Australia at Headingley and was part of the quintet released for county duty to get in shape for the decider at The Oval next week.

The Twitter site has built up a reputation for revealing information by a number of sport stars in recent weeks.

Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes announced on his own Twitter page ahead of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston in July that he had been dropped.

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After Hughes heard the news he was to be replaced by Shane Watson, he commented: "Disappointed not to be on the field with the lads today, will be supporting the guys, it's a BIG test match 4 us."

Cricket Australia conceded soon afterwards the release had been a "mishap", and added: "We encourage players to engage with the public and use those channels but within the process and not before selectors have officially published the team."

While in football, former Tottenham striker Darren Bent was forced to apologise after criticising Spurs chairman Daniel Levy on Twitter over the former Ipswich player's move to Sunderland.

England and Nottinghamshire spin bowler Graeme Swann is also a regular user of Twitter.

He is currently out of action because of an illness and revealed on Tuesday on the social networking site that he was "aching all over, stomach doing cartwheels, hope it's not swine flu".



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see also
Key 'dreaming' of Ashes call-up
11 Aug 09 |  Cricket
Bent apologises for online rant
31 Jul 09 |  Tottenham
Aussies win to level Ashes series
09 Aug 09 |  England
Ramprakash in England contention
10 Aug 09 |  England
Bell to bat at four for England
28 Jul 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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