Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day November 22, 2013

Broad fan incitement comes home to roost


Broad plays the Aussie way - Steve Waugh

Australia have attempted to douse the flames of supporter incitement against Stuart Broad - started by the national team coach Darren Lehmann - by requesting the shutdown of a Facebook page on which its creator promised to run onto the MCG and tackle the England fast bowler on Boxing Day.

Cricket Australia were silent when Lehmann was fined $3,000 by the ICC for referring to Broad's "blatant cheating" when he did not walk after edging a catch behind the wicket in the first Test of the previous Ashes series at Trent Bridge, adding that he expected Australian crowds to make the Englishman's life a misery down under in the return bout.

"I hope they give it to him right from the word go for for the whole summer, and I hope he cries and goes home," Lehmann said on Triple M, the radio station that has won a share of the commercial rights for the summer. "I just hope everyone gets stuck into him, because of the way he's carried on and the way he's commented about it in the public is ridiculous."

The subsequent campaign against Broad has veered into evermore outlandish territory, peaking with the creation of a Facebook page entitled "100,000 likes and I'll tackle Stuart Broad on Boxing Day". The page has now accumulated more than 114,000 likes, moving CA to request it be removed from the social networking site and warning the page owner against carrying out his threat.

"Cricket Australia takes this issue seriously and will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, or anyone encouraging it, at any cricket match," CA said in a statement. "We've been in contact with Facebook to request the specific page be removed and will be passing on all available information to the relevant authorities.

"Anyone considering acting in this way is not welcome at the cricket and offenders will be subject to criminal charges and fines at all venues. Fines for entering the field of play vary from venue to venue but range in the thousands of dollars per offence."

In a statement the ECB said: "The ECB deplores any threats made towards any player and would urge Facebook to accede to Cricket Australia's request to remove the offending and offensive page. There is no place in cricket for the incitement to violence of any form."

Shane Warne had earlier offered fierce criticism of the campaign run by Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper to belittle Broad, suggesting it had served only to add motivation for England on the opening day of the match.

"This ridiculous stuff with the papers is just childish," Warne said on Channel Nine. "It's just like being at primary school. The Australian papers - we've been the worst media, the worst print media, for a long time. They're horrific, some of these guys, and I tell you what this is actually helping Broad, it's actually backfiring on them straight away.

"You don't really need that added motivation but as an individual deep down you think, 'I'll show you. You can sing your songs as much as you like but I'm just going to go about my business, I know what I'm doing'. It just inspired you a little bit more."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    Some fat, beer-swilling ozzie would likely come out on the wrong side of tackling Broad. But come on Australia, this has the makings of a great ashes series. Previous Australian batsmen have not walked (with the exception of Gilchrest) and the hypocrisy of the nation and its cricket supporters is just silly and the Australian press showing itself to be juvenile at best.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    This is what the Ashes and test cricket is all about! It's not just another meaningless series, which doesn't invoke passion or reaction from the fans. While, I don't condone such behavior as the Facebook incident or promoting physical harm, I think, bit of banter between the players and fans are fine. It's what makes the matches more interesting and memorable. If you are a NBA fan, than many fans still remember the matches between Bulls vs Pistons and Boston vs Lakers during the early 90's. Those encounters are still memorable, because people still remember how hard fought those games were and how much passion and emotion it generated from fans and players alike.

  • Harry on November 22, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Booing is childish but still normal in a heated up series like Ashes. Inciting violence is over the line and takes away from the game. Maybe CA should think about putting fences like in some of the Indian grounds to ensure no lunatic runs into the play area.

    Now if Warner goes after Broad's bowling like Yuvraj Singh did in T20s or Mitch bowling short pitched when Broad is batting are good contests and in good taste.

    @inefekt - Mitch got affected in 2009 by the ridicule from Eng fans. However a huge part of his failure was he was not confident of his skills and not mature as a player. If he faced the same situation now he will come off better. Broad can handle it becoz he is confident of his skills. The point Warne is making is stop encouraging Broad to muster than extra focus given his ability to win matches single handedly.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    I actually cannot believe how moggy the Ozzies have gone over Broad and his refusal to walk. Hypocritical and completely overboard at the same time! I am rooting for the Ozzies this Ashes but this maniacal behaviour is making me reconsider that support.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    What ever happened to sportsman spirit. You play the game hard and end of the day enjoy couple of cold beverages. Did we forget all of that. Players get emotional on the field and to a certain degree it is acceptable. But coach and a newspaper inciting violence? TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. This needs to be nipped in the bud. What next war?

  • Android on November 22, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    @inefekt. different players respond differently to different situations. Mitchell Johnson is a soft Queenslander. he doesn't take booing well and crumbles under negativity. Unfortunately Broad is like Anthony Mundine and SBW. they thrive on public hate and use it to their advantage

  • Jason on November 22, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @Not_Another_Keybored_Expert, "have targeted Aussie players before", but there was never any incitement for fans to harm any of these players, there was not Facebook site set up to encourage someone to 'tackle' either of these players.

    Even the UK media didnt got to the extent that the aussie papers have, if they did then they'd never name any Aussie for not 'walking' and pretty much the entire team photo would have been whited out during the 90's, with only Gillchrist visible.

  • John on November 22, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    love the way all these comments are coming out after he got a 6-fer. had he been slapped all round the park you'd have all thought it was a great plan that put him off his game!

  • Trevor on November 22, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Dear Warnie, the hatred and ridicule Mitchell Johnson received from the English during that fateful Ashes tour in 2009 didn't exactly motivate him, in fact it nearly destroyed him..........well it at least went a long way to winning them the Ashes back.

  • David on November 22, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Its interesting...the Australian crowd invested all its booing into one player and only one player performed. Maybe we should be nice to all of them and quietly recover the Ashes?

  • No featured comments at the moment.