England news May 22, 2014

ECB refer Carberry article to Press Complaints Commission

The ECB have referred The Guardian to the Press Complaints Commission following an interview with Michael Carberry in which he claimed he had been the victim of unfair treatment by England management.

While the ECB do not dispute the words spoken by Carberry in the article, published on March 31, were genuine, they were unhappy with the general tone of the piece and felt more should have been done to reflect their side of the story.

Specifically, they were unhappy with the suggestion that, while the other players in the Ashes tour party were allowed to fly their families to Australia for Christmas, "only Carberry's request that his mother be his invited guest was denied" and the insinuation that Carberry might have struggled for selection throughout his career "for some reason".

The ECB insist that the terms of the flights provided for the partners of touring players is clear and that Carberry was not the victim of inequitable treatment. They are also concerned that Carberry's comment that "throughout my England career, even as a schoolboy, I've always had that shorter rope for some reason," might be interpreted as a suggestion that he was the victim of racial discrimination.

The ECB had earlier threatened to take legal action after an article in the Nightwatchman magazine suggested that Carberry's struggle to gain England selection might have been due to racial discrimination. The magazine deleted the article from all on-line platforms and printed an apology and retraction in the next issue. They also made a donation to Chance to Shine.

It is understood the ECB made several attempts to persuade The Guardian to print a similar retraction, but although the newspaper offered to print an explanation, the wording could not be agreed.

The Press Complaints Commission is an independent body which administers the system of self-regulation for the press.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo