England news May 28, 2014

Broad to be spoken to over tweet

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Stuart Broad is to be reminded of his responsibilities on social media following a complaint by the PCB and the Pakistan spinner, Saeed Ajmal.

Broad, England's captain in T20 cricket, incurred the anger of Ajmal and the Pakistan board after making comments on Twitter that could have been perceived as questioning the legality of the bowler's action.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has provided assurances that Broad will be spoken to and reminded of his responsibilities. He will not be fined or formally disciplined.

The incident started when Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, posted a still photograph of Ajmal bowling during the Championship match against Essex on Twitter with the caption "You are allowed 15 degrees of flex in your delivery swing.... #justsaying."

Broad then replied with the comment "This has to be a fake photo?!" before a further tweet stated: "Bowlers can bowl very differently in a lab while being tested compared to needing wickets in the middle."

Ajmal and the PCB interpreted the comments as a suggestion that the action he uses in a match situation is not the same as that used in testing. They also concluded that the comments insinuated that his action may not be legitimate. The PCB and Ajmal's agent then contacted the ECB to seek an explanation.

Ajmal, who played a large part in Pakistan's whitewash Test series victory over England in the UAE at the start of 2012, is currently playing for Worcestershire as an overseas player in the County Championship. He claimed 13 wickets in the victory over Essex, including a career-best haul of 7 for 19 in the second innings.

Ajmal's action has been tested and cleared by the ICC. No county umpires have reported his action this season.

"Broad's dig hurt me the most," Ajmal told pakpassion.net. "Former players will sit in the commentary box or wherever else and say some things for attention but you don't expect such things from a fellow professional cricketer who is still playing cricket. It was disappointing to read Broad's comments."

It is understood that Clarke phoned David Leatherdale, the chief executive of Worcestershire, on Wednesday morning and expressed his understanding of Ajmal's concerns.

"We are grateful for Mr Clarke's understanding," Umran Khan, Ajmal's agent told ESPNcricinfo. "The position of England captain comes with a responsibility and we hope Stuart Broad will bear this in mind when making comments than can be damaging and hurtful in the future."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on May 31, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    @markatnotts on (May 29, 2014, 8:06 GMT) It's kind of comical isn't it? KP was dismissed for internal stuff (regardless of whether we agree with it or not) and that was an ECB issue. If there is an issue here - and I think it's people making a mountain out of a molehill - then it is an ICC issue IMO. Personally I don't see anything wrong with a little freedom of speech and surely everyone should take those comms with a pinch of salt. It's not like Broad is saying what no one else has said but it seems to have touched a nerve there. Also it's not like he is the 1st or last bowler whose action will be questioned and not just because they are successful. Warne was a mare for English batsman but no one ever queried his action because there was nothing to query.

    Still it must be a good day or so since we had a comment mentioning KP so I guess it's long overdue.

  • keptalittlelow on May 29, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    We should not be discussing the mechanics of straightening the elbow of a bowler, it should be left to the experts and umpires, however what we should discuss whether a professional bowler should be allowed to question a fellow bowler's bowling legitimacy, no matter how much camouflage is applied.

  • on May 29, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    It is the duty of ICC officials to say whether a bowler's action is legal or not. No professional player currently playing should make such comments especially when he is a senior player and captain of his country albeit IT20. If the umpires officiating any match feel that a bowler whose action has been cleared in the past now has a suspicious action would surely report him to the authority, in this I presume ICC. Players like Broad and others show their immaturity and pettiness when they make such remarks.

  • on May 29, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    @Posted by JG2704 on (May 29, 2014, 12:30 GMT): Mate, it is published on 1 of cric info articles :

    It has long been known that Ajmal bowls with a bend in his arm. That is not against the playing regulations for international cricket, though, and after exhaustive tests, the ICC concluded that his arm did not straighten by 15 degrees and therefore declared his action legitimate.

    As part of the ICC testing procedure, match footage is used alongside videos made "in a lab" and compared to ensure it is identical. Umpires are then able to copy TV footage of bowlers in action and super-impose them on the testing footage to check that a bowlers' action has not subsequently deteriorated. It is understood by ESPNcricinfo that the umpires involved in the Pakistan-England series in the UAE used this facility to check that Ajmal's action was the same as when it was tested. They found it to be identical.

  • UK_Chap on May 29, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    JG2704 : I have read a lot of your posts in the past, you comments tend to be fair and balanced, but in this case you seem to be in complete understanding and awfully forgiving of anything any England players say. That is understandable since you are an English fan. Pakistan players have never made any comments about any english players but that cannot be said in reverse, I do believe the issue of defamation /slander could be resolved by a court case. That would force all parties to either put up or shut up.

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    @CodandChips on (May 29, 2014, 9:38 GMT) Is he ? I wouldn't have thought he was as I doubt he'd have played a full season of IPL. My reckoning is that he's free from the playing side of the contract but still bound not to say anything about the Eng situation for the time being

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    @cisco420 on (May 29, 2014, 7:51 GMT) When has the ICC reprimanded a Pakistan player for comments he made about an English player's bowling action?....

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    @Khurram S Chaudhry on (May 28, 2014, 20:58 GMT) Maybe he has it wrong but why should he not be able to voice concerns if he feels an opposition player has an unfair advantage? You say "ajmal has been passed by icc so this should end for ever"

    Why should that be the end forever?

    A player could start off his career with a perfectly legal action which then develops into an illegal one. Should that then be ignored because he has been passed once?

    @Jasir Noor Memon on (May 29, 2014, 1:41 GMT) I guess Broad is concerned about it because Ajmal is an opponent and if he thinks there is the slightest chance he can get Ajmal to change his action (whether it be by ICC saying something or even Ajmal being affected whereby he changes it himself) to a degree where he is less successful then he will

  • CodandChips on May 29, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    @markatnotts while I agree with what you say, I think KP is still centrally contracted, and therefore still employed by the ECB

  • markatnotts on May 29, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    I wish some people would think before they comment. Ok Broad has been irresponsible on social media but it hardly warrants a life time ban! As for saying what would happen to KP if he had done this, precisely nothing as unlike Broad he is not employed by the ECB.

  • JG2704 on May 31, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    @markatnotts on (May 29, 2014, 8:06 GMT) It's kind of comical isn't it? KP was dismissed for internal stuff (regardless of whether we agree with it or not) and that was an ECB issue. If there is an issue here - and I think it's people making a mountain out of a molehill - then it is an ICC issue IMO. Personally I don't see anything wrong with a little freedom of speech and surely everyone should take those comms with a pinch of salt. It's not like Broad is saying what no one else has said but it seems to have touched a nerve there. Also it's not like he is the 1st or last bowler whose action will be questioned and not just because they are successful. Warne was a mare for English batsman but no one ever queried his action because there was nothing to query.

    Still it must be a good day or so since we had a comment mentioning KP so I guess it's long overdue.

  • keptalittlelow on May 29, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    We should not be discussing the mechanics of straightening the elbow of a bowler, it should be left to the experts and umpires, however what we should discuss whether a professional bowler should be allowed to question a fellow bowler's bowling legitimacy, no matter how much camouflage is applied.

  • on May 29, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    It is the duty of ICC officials to say whether a bowler's action is legal or not. No professional player currently playing should make such comments especially when he is a senior player and captain of his country albeit IT20. If the umpires officiating any match feel that a bowler whose action has been cleared in the past now has a suspicious action would surely report him to the authority, in this I presume ICC. Players like Broad and others show their immaturity and pettiness when they make such remarks.

  • on May 29, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    @Posted by JG2704 on (May 29, 2014, 12:30 GMT): Mate, it is published on 1 of cric info articles :

    It has long been known that Ajmal bowls with a bend in his arm. That is not against the playing regulations for international cricket, though, and after exhaustive tests, the ICC concluded that his arm did not straighten by 15 degrees and therefore declared his action legitimate.

    As part of the ICC testing procedure, match footage is used alongside videos made "in a lab" and compared to ensure it is identical. Umpires are then able to copy TV footage of bowlers in action and super-impose them on the testing footage to check that a bowlers' action has not subsequently deteriorated. It is understood by ESPNcricinfo that the umpires involved in the Pakistan-England series in the UAE used this facility to check that Ajmal's action was the same as when it was tested. They found it to be identical.

  • UK_Chap on May 29, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    JG2704 : I have read a lot of your posts in the past, you comments tend to be fair and balanced, but in this case you seem to be in complete understanding and awfully forgiving of anything any England players say. That is understandable since you are an English fan. Pakistan players have never made any comments about any english players but that cannot be said in reverse, I do believe the issue of defamation /slander could be resolved by a court case. That would force all parties to either put up or shut up.

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    @CodandChips on (May 29, 2014, 9:38 GMT) Is he ? I wouldn't have thought he was as I doubt he'd have played a full season of IPL. My reckoning is that he's free from the playing side of the contract but still bound not to say anything about the Eng situation for the time being

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    @cisco420 on (May 29, 2014, 7:51 GMT) When has the ICC reprimanded a Pakistan player for comments he made about an English player's bowling action?....

  • JG2704 on May 29, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    @Khurram S Chaudhry on (May 28, 2014, 20:58 GMT) Maybe he has it wrong but why should he not be able to voice concerns if he feels an opposition player has an unfair advantage? You say "ajmal has been passed by icc so this should end for ever"

    Why should that be the end forever?

    A player could start off his career with a perfectly legal action which then develops into an illegal one. Should that then be ignored because he has been passed once?

    @Jasir Noor Memon on (May 29, 2014, 1:41 GMT) I guess Broad is concerned about it because Ajmal is an opponent and if he thinks there is the slightest chance he can get Ajmal to change his action (whether it be by ICC saying something or even Ajmal being affected whereby he changes it himself) to a degree where he is less successful then he will

  • CodandChips on May 29, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    @markatnotts while I agree with what you say, I think KP is still centrally contracted, and therefore still employed by the ECB

  • markatnotts on May 29, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    I wish some people would think before they comment. Ok Broad has been irresponsible on social media but it hardly warrants a life time ban! As for saying what would happen to KP if he had done this, precisely nothing as unlike Broad he is not employed by the ECB.

  • cisco420 on May 29, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    If a Pakistani player would have commented on a English player action all hell would have been lose.Who says cricket is fair any more!!!

  • Mohammad.Imran.Hyder on May 29, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    I can still understand the pain and agony English team felt in UAE in 2012 with hands of Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal. They accused wrongly to Rehman last year during county season while repeating their still wounded minds against Ajmal this year......

  • DizzD on May 29, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    What would happen if it was KP? just think! !!!.

  • jmcilhinney on May 29, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    If I'm not mistaken, the rule doesn't actually say anything about how bent your elbow can be but only how much the angle of your elbow can change during delivery. If that is the case then no one still photo can ever give an indication of whether a delivery is legal or not. No matter what we actually know of the rules, we still tend to think of bowling as being something that is done with a straight arm so any arm that doesn't look straight looks wrong. Broad is entitled to his opinion and he may even be right but, as a current player, he needs to consider carefully what he says publicly and I would agree that his tweet is inappropriate.

  • on May 29, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Ajmal is best spinner no one can compare him

  • on May 29, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    I do not know who should be blamed, maybe Ajmal misunderstood Broad's tweet or Broad has spoken against the law. I think, do not take it as negative, if ICC has no problem regarding Ajmal's bowling action then why Broad is so concerned about this issue. If there is any issue regarding this, ICC is there and Broad should not be too worried about it. As a bowler, for sure you will get hurt and will want clear explanation from others because authority has no problem regarding you.

  • on May 28, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    broad is not some unknown domestic player. he is an international captain having central contract so should follow rule.

    ajmal has been passed by icc so this should end for ever. and the rule was not only for him. its for every one. if he is in the limit then there is no point commenting about it again and again.

    what broad said had also got no logic at all. it is well documented that they do compare match videos with lab ones to make sure that bowler is bowling with same action. and also it was reported on cric info, that umpires can compare videos with lab video at any time if they suspect something. and they did compared it during england tour to uae.

    so its kind of funny to think that the people testing in lab will miss this simple point about bowler bowling with different style than real match. whats the point of testing if examiners wont consider this important fact. not very mature statement from broad.

  • woody3 on May 28, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    You can straighten your elbow 15 degrees after shoulder height. If the umpires think you are exceeding that you are analysed in test conditions. If you can bowl straightening less than 15 degrees in the net you are allowed to return to playing. There is then a totally SUBJECTIVE judgement on whether your subsequent action in a game is different from in the net. In other words it still all comes down to judgement which is incredibly hard to enforce. Until actions are analysed in games there will be people exceeding 15 degrees in games. Old rule meant a discernable throw to the eye kicked in at about 7.5 degrees straightening, this did not allow "wrist" offspinners their big turners or doosras and was changed.

  • on May 28, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    There are a number of issues with assessing chucking from a single angle. A player who never fully straightens their arm will appear to straighten it while it rotates in delivery. There's a story I remember from, I think, the sixties. A player had been forced out of international cricket by being called for chucking. Despite remedial action he'd never properly returned to cricket but he went out to play in a domestic game at one point. Early in the innings he was repeatedly called for chucking. He then disappeared into the dressing room and came back wearing a long sleeved shirt. He continued to be called so he rolled up his sleeve to show that he'd been bowling with a brace.

  • Sigismund on May 28, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Vaughan doesn't seem to understand the rule. It doesn't matter what angle your arm is at, but that angle is not allowed to change by more than 15 degrees during the delivery. Whether this is what the rule should be or not is a different question altogether. Broad is quite right in what he says (another reason why the rule might be a silly one); but as Ajmal says, in his position he should not be making insinuations. Like text messages, the brevity of tweets leads inevitably to misunderstandings.

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  • Sigismund on May 28, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Vaughan doesn't seem to understand the rule. It doesn't matter what angle your arm is at, but that angle is not allowed to change by more than 15 degrees during the delivery. Whether this is what the rule should be or not is a different question altogether. Broad is quite right in what he says (another reason why the rule might be a silly one); but as Ajmal says, in his position he should not be making insinuations. Like text messages, the brevity of tweets leads inevitably to misunderstandings.

  • on May 28, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    There are a number of issues with assessing chucking from a single angle. A player who never fully straightens their arm will appear to straighten it while it rotates in delivery. There's a story I remember from, I think, the sixties. A player had been forced out of international cricket by being called for chucking. Despite remedial action he'd never properly returned to cricket but he went out to play in a domestic game at one point. Early in the innings he was repeatedly called for chucking. He then disappeared into the dressing room and came back wearing a long sleeved shirt. He continued to be called so he rolled up his sleeve to show that he'd been bowling with a brace.

  • woody3 on May 28, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    You can straighten your elbow 15 degrees after shoulder height. If the umpires think you are exceeding that you are analysed in test conditions. If you can bowl straightening less than 15 degrees in the net you are allowed to return to playing. There is then a totally SUBJECTIVE judgement on whether your subsequent action in a game is different from in the net. In other words it still all comes down to judgement which is incredibly hard to enforce. Until actions are analysed in games there will be people exceeding 15 degrees in games. Old rule meant a discernable throw to the eye kicked in at about 7.5 degrees straightening, this did not allow "wrist" offspinners their big turners or doosras and was changed.

  • on May 28, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    broad is not some unknown domestic player. he is an international captain having central contract so should follow rule.

    ajmal has been passed by icc so this should end for ever. and the rule was not only for him. its for every one. if he is in the limit then there is no point commenting about it again and again.

    what broad said had also got no logic at all. it is well documented that they do compare match videos with lab ones to make sure that bowler is bowling with same action. and also it was reported on cric info, that umpires can compare videos with lab video at any time if they suspect something. and they did compared it during england tour to uae.

    so its kind of funny to think that the people testing in lab will miss this simple point about bowler bowling with different style than real match. whats the point of testing if examiners wont consider this important fact. not very mature statement from broad.

  • on May 29, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    I do not know who should be blamed, maybe Ajmal misunderstood Broad's tweet or Broad has spoken against the law. I think, do not take it as negative, if ICC has no problem regarding Ajmal's bowling action then why Broad is so concerned about this issue. If there is any issue regarding this, ICC is there and Broad should not be too worried about it. As a bowler, for sure you will get hurt and will want clear explanation from others because authority has no problem regarding you.

  • on May 29, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Ajmal is best spinner no one can compare him

  • jmcilhinney on May 29, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    If I'm not mistaken, the rule doesn't actually say anything about how bent your elbow can be but only how much the angle of your elbow can change during delivery. If that is the case then no one still photo can ever give an indication of whether a delivery is legal or not. No matter what we actually know of the rules, we still tend to think of bowling as being something that is done with a straight arm so any arm that doesn't look straight looks wrong. Broad is entitled to his opinion and he may even be right but, as a current player, he needs to consider carefully what he says publicly and I would agree that his tweet is inappropriate.

  • DizzD on May 29, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    What would happen if it was KP? just think! !!!.

  • Mohammad.Imran.Hyder on May 29, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    I can still understand the pain and agony English team felt in UAE in 2012 with hands of Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal. They accused wrongly to Rehman last year during county season while repeating their still wounded minds against Ajmal this year......

  • cisco420 on May 29, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    If a Pakistani player would have commented on a English player action all hell would have been lose.Who says cricket is fair any more!!!