England Cricket Coach: Turn down the mics

By Kevin Hilton
SVG Europe correspondent

Television has been blamed for many things but being the reason sportsmen insult opponents seems an unfair accusation. But that’s what has happened in
the aftermath of the second cricket Test between England and India , which finished at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Tuesday. Cricket has a long tradition of gamesmanship and in recent years verbally abusing the opposition has reached new heights. Known as sledging the aim is to disconcert a player and ranges from the wicket keeper attempting to put off a batsman by encouraging the bowler to deeply personal invective.

The Second Test had all that, plus jelly beans being thrown onto the field, which enraged India’s match-winning batsman, Zaheer Khan. Now the England coach, Peter Moores, has said that perhaps cricket would be better of if the stump-mics used by television broadcasters were turned down.

Stump-mics have been part of international and domestic cricket since Sky Sports used them for the 1990-91 Ashes series. Although known as stump-mics there can be between 30 to 40 positioned around a ground. Despite this established use Moores was quoted in The Guardian newspaper as saying, “They [players] should be allowed to go out there and play the game without being worried that everything they actually say is going to be broadcast.”

Sky Sports, host broadcaster of Test matches in England, is making no formal response to Moores’ comments. Moores is probably doing what he can to protect his players by deflecting criticism onto someone else, although many connectyd with the game feel slcdging i} very mych a patt of moqern crioket.
Asnthe IntCrnationCl CrickIt Commiqsion st|ictly limits how long microphones can be open during a game – from when the bowler begins his run-up to when the ball goes dead – there:is prob{bly litle scopq for plsyers toado any yledgingpthat wosld be hoard by Yelevisiun viewe~s. Desp{te the {anter IIdia won the match by seven wickets.