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August 8, 2014
Cricket Australia has removed a video from its website after the ECB alleged it breached copyright.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the ECB contacted CA to express its concerns after cricket.com.au ran a video entitled "Future dire for Prior", which featured a montage of mistakes by the former England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, set to music.
Not only did the ECB feel the tone of the montage was inappropriate for a national cricket board, but it pointed out that the footage was the property of News International, which owns the broadcaster Sky, and the ECB.
While CA contested that the montage was part of a legitimate news agenda - and therefore appropriate for use - it agreed to remove it.
CA also defended the tone of the piece. While the ECB felt the images, which showed a series of fumbles by Prior without any attempt to explain his injury issues, was mocking and not appropriate for a national board, CA insists that it reflected a debate taking place in the UK media.
"Cricket.com.au now operates as an independent news outlet as part of a joint venture with Nine Entertainment Co," a CA spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "They chose to publish the story and accompanying vision as it reflected media commentary taking place in the UK at the time."
Prior announced his decision to take a break from international cricket for the remainder of the year in a bid to recover full fitness a couple of days after the montage was published.
It is not the first time Cricket Australia's multimedia operation has courted controversy. During the 2013 Ashes, the official Twitter account reacted to a third umpire decision to reprieve Ian Bell in the Lord's Test with the comment "That decision sucked ass #bullshit" while, during the 2013-14 Ashes series, they tweeted a bizarre and casually racist picture of four Sikh men dressed as Teletubbies with the caption "Will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?"
And, while CA stresses the independence of its media operation, the fact is that it remains at least partially funded by the governing body and it is unthinkable that a montage with a similar theme to the Prior video would have been run about an out-of-form Australia player.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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