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England squad warned about Twitter behaviour

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen's recent tweets have been prosaic - many talking about X Factor

England's cricketers have been warned to be more careful when using Twitter.

In the past week, England players Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas have been fined for using obscenities in messages criticising selectors.

And while the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will not stop players tweeting, managing director Hugh Morris said controls would be introduced.

"With freedom of speech comes responsibility. It must be used that way," Morris told BBC Radio 5 live.

While praising Twitter as a means by which players can keep in contact with supporters, Morris confirmed that a policy managing usage would be in place in time for this winter's Ashes series in Australia.

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"We've had some good discussions with the players' representatives over this over the last few weeks and that's exactly the type of way we will look to manage Twitter and other social networking sites going forward," added Morris.

"The specific wording is yet to be agreed between ourselves and the Professional Cricketers' Association but certainly there will be some management around the use of Twitter. It's a good opportunity but it needs to be used in the right way."

The ECB has been forced to act after two incidents in the past fortnight.

On 31 August, former captain Pietersen broke the news of his omission from England's one-day squad with a tweet containing an expletive, while on 5 September Mascarenhas launched a personal attack on chairman of selectors Geoff Miller.

Pietersen, who received an undisclosed fine, said his message was only intended for friends, while Mascarenhas, fined £1,000, admitted a late night conversation had "got out of control". Both players subsequently apologised.

Last October, England team-mate Tim Bresnan was warned about his future conduct after swearing in a tweet, and earlier this summer Yorkshire's former England Under-19s captain Azeem Rafiq received a one-month ban for a similar offence.

Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes was also criticised for using Twitter to announce he had been dropped from Australia's Test side last summer.



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see also
Coach Flower opposes Twitter ban
08 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Pietersen to play in South Africa
09 Sep 10 |  England
Mascarenhas fined for Miller rant
06 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Flower expects Pietersen action
03 Sep 10 |  England
Pietersen apologises for outburst
01 Sep 10 |  England
England drop Pietersen from squad
31 Aug 10 |  England
Rafiq banned after Twitter tirade
04 Aug 10 |  England
England warned over social media
29 Jul 10 |  England


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