Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day December 5, 2013

CA issues apology for Panesar tweet


Cricket Australia was compelled to make an apology and hurriedly re-shape its social media policy after the governing body's official Twitter account posted a stock picture of four bearded, turbaned men dressed up as Teletubbies with the caption "will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?".

Posted in the hour before the start of the second Ashes Test match at Adelaide Oval, the tweet was subsequently removed and an apology posted in its place after the image and the reference to Panesar drew howls of outrage from around the world.

Later in the day the @cricketaus account was re-branded as CA Digital Media, "the independent news arm working out of Cricket Australia". A second account has been created under the name @CAComms, described as "official communication from Cricket Australia, the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia".

"We certainly apologise for any offense caused with the tweet. It wasn't our intention to offend and it has promptly been removed from Twitter," a CA spokesperson said. "To reiterate, if the tweet was interpreted in a manner that offended Twitter followers, we certainly apologise for that. This has been addressed internally and CA acknowledges it was an error of judgement."

The tweet was described by numerous online critics as an example of "casual racism", while numerous English writers expressed their displeasure in no uncertain terms. Martin Samuel, chief sports writer for the Daily Mail, delivered a particularly stinging critique in a piece headlined: "So, all Asians look the same and we need to put them in Teletubbies outfits to tell them apart? That's not right, Cricket Australia, and Monty tweet is insulting and demeaning".

"They want to win the stupid banter battles, they want to be as edgy as the worst of the press box warriors, they want also to be the respected rule-makers and the natural home for lovers of cricket and lovers of fun. But they haven't got a clue," Samuel wrote. "By the time the first wicket had fallen in Adelaide, the comedians were in full retreat.

"The four Montys had been taken down, an apology was being hastily issued, but that really isn't good enough. Cricket Australia are not there to insult their guests, to affect mental disintegration with ham-fisted racial slurs and crude, misjudged attempts at humour. Their job is to run cricket. And with two Australian wins in the calendar year, and an Ashes Test starting in a half-built stadium, it could be argued they need fewer gags and more old-fashioned administration."

The tweet arrived days after CA had themselves stood down the ground announcer for England's tour match in Alice Springs, David Nixon, after he introduced Panesar to the middle in a manner that the governing body described as "inappropriate".

During the Lord's Ashes Test earlier this year, CA launched an internal investigation after a tweet was posted questioning an umpiring decision, followed by the hashtag "#bullshit". The governing body has built a large digital and website team for the 2013-14 summer, with the intention of becoming a serious additional source of news on the game.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • suraj on December 5, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    haha...guys in here are all experts in planting legs..funny though go out try to spin a ball mate.

  • Richard on December 5, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @Stewart Swift:-I did use the plural 'flaws'. We can argue about which is the greater but I wince when I see that picture. Knee is bad, falling away, awful head's pretty bad. He should be making himself as tall as possible but look where he is instead. Despite what @FingorsDad says I think it's a poor action, certainly not the guy to photograph for the coaching manual, compared with , for argument's sake, Nathan Lyon for instance, who has a really nice action these days.

  • Richard on December 5, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    @FingorsDad:-He's at the point of releasing the ball. His leg ought be braced. You can see he has indeed planted the foot since he's starting to rise up on his front toe. The knee should really be locked or locking in at that point.I stand by my assessment.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    @Biggus.... from the above picture (and it is a still there impossible to tell 100%) the biggest flaw here is NOT the knee. Look at the angle of the body falling to the left, look how open the chest is compared to how closed off the feet position are, this in turn is causing the arm to go beyond the perpendicular!

  • Mark on December 5, 2013, 12:59 GMT


    He isn't yet planted on the front leg. As that leg plants it will straighten and drive up. Looks fine to me.

  • Cosmic on December 5, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    Human have invented an extremely potent word called "SORRY" ! Which gives us the power to do anything (almost), make mockery of others, criticize others etc..

    And to get away from unwanted reactions, responses, potential damage caused etc. we have to only utter the word "SORRY" !

  • Richard on December 5, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Can't help but notice some technical flaws in the photo above, in particular the front leg isn't braced properly and consequently and he's delivering from a lot lower than he ought.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Boom, over reaction kicks in once more!

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Utterly disgusting, now one cannot blame the players on the field for behaving the way they are. Hardly a gentleman's game anymore, i think ICC should take action and control sledging and mud slinging by cricket associations.

  • steve on December 5, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Really Mr-M-Vaughan? If you can't see how this could have been interpreted in this way you live in a different world than I do. As a professional organisation CA should have seen how this could have been perceived, regardless of the intent.

    I'm not sure what English media you read? I've not come across any outrage, more a general disappointment with the poor performance by the English players. I'm not sure what you're referring to in terms of outrage by the England management?

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