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

CA issues apology for Panesar tweet

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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

  • crazysloggers 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.

  • Biggus 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 position....it'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.

  • Biggus 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.

  • 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!

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

    Biggus,

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

  • Blackholesun 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" !

  • Biggus 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.

  • on December 5, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Boom, over reaction kicks in once more!

  • 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.

  • Pippy_the_dog 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?

  • crazysloggers 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.

  • Biggus 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 position....it'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.

  • Biggus 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.

  • 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!

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

    Biggus,

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

  • Blackholesun 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" !

  • Biggus 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.

  • on December 5, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Boom, over reaction kicks in once more!

  • 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.

  • Pippy_the_dog 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?

  • Mr-M-Vaughan on December 5, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    "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".

    I see nothing in the photo or comment which even remotely suggests this. But it's not surprising. Yet another in the long line of outrage coming from the English media and management since the first test thrashing. How many supposed insults and outrages can they possibly fit into a couple of weeks? Just play cricket. Please.

  • Pippy_the_dog on December 5, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    The major cricketing nation's governing bodies seem to view themselves as major corporations these days, with renumeration to match for those in charge. Therefore they can expect no sympathy if they are found out for inept PR.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    I don't know what's more pathetic, the tweet or the subsequent outrage.

  • jonno67 on December 5, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    LOL...gotta laugh at most of the comments on here, you lot need to lighten up and get a life.

  • on December 5, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    As a neutral fan, I started out backing the Aussies as the underdogs in this series. With each passing day, I'm moving firmly into the England corner. While the English team are far from gentlemen, the Aussies are plumbing new depths every day.

  • Nutcutlet on December 5, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Another example of technology being used to reveal the all-to-common inability to make good/proper use of it. Political correctness aside, does anyone find this tweet funny/amusing? It's a failure on all levels. To all those who like tweeting, I'd suggest they ask the old & only questions that need to be asked about any communication - namely: form, style & purpose. If there isn't a purpose - why do it? Just put it away & keep your faux pearl to yourself!

  • Colinsa on December 5, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Come on guys, a silly little characature. Look around at the world politicians and what they have to endure from social and print media! Get on with the game I say.

  • whoster on December 5, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    "Will everyone grow up and get over it."

    Looks like neanderthal man is still very much alive and well in the 21st century.

  • on December 5, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    A fan doing this. Fine. But cricket Australia? Man, talk about a lack of class. The official governing body of the sport being so crass.

  • on December 5, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Will everyone grow up and get over it. Big deal! Nobody should care and it shouldnt bother ANYONE! When the world learns to stop being such precious and stops worrying about political correctness, the world will be a better place!

  • harsidhu on December 5, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Really shamefull for CA But we expect anything more than this from overratted team,overratted coach (boof).By this CA and Australian team is loosing respect and lots of fans who supports Aussie team being Aussie.

  • Dragonboyz on December 5, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    I was rooting for Australia for this series but now I am ashamed of the team. The Australian test team of the past decade played the game hard and sledged at the right moments and not all the time. The present Australian team thinks that only way to get victory is to intimidate the opposition in all possible way. If they loose this game then world cricket fans will definitely laugh at them. You are judged by the way you behave when you win and Australia didn't showed their class when they won last match. You wont expect this type of behavior from South Africa or any sub continent team

  • Ms.Cricket on December 5, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    It is totally unacceptable. On top of that Cricket Australia is trying to hush and brush this under the carpet. Heads must roll. Sutherland needs to stand up for once.

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very poor from CA, when will they learn?

  • whensdrinks on December 5, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Another day, another Pommy whinge about Australia! Where was this concern for good behaviour 6 months ago when the Australians were in the UK and they were on the receiving end?

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Very intelligent CA- hardly an act of a responsible organisation. What next? What were they hoping to achieve?

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Just wondering - has anyone asked Monty what he thinks about it??

  • Eggroll on December 5, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Silly me - I thought it was a commentary on his waistline. (Just walked past the TV set and was surprised at how he has filled out).

  • vswami on December 5, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Its bizarre that official Cricket Australia account has no adult oversight. I can understand newspapers or other individuals posting edgy jokes, but CA ?

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Such a disgrace. This hapoened earlier too when the ashes was going on in england and somebody from VS account uses profainity in one of their tweets. If they can't control their account user they should deactivate it.

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  • on December 5, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Such a disgrace. This hapoened earlier too when the ashes was going on in england and somebody from VS account uses profainity in one of their tweets. If they can't control their account user they should deactivate it.

  • vswami on December 5, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Its bizarre that official Cricket Australia account has no adult oversight. I can understand newspapers or other individuals posting edgy jokes, but CA ?

  • Eggroll on December 5, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Silly me - I thought it was a commentary on his waistline. (Just walked past the TV set and was surprised at how he has filled out).

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Just wondering - has anyone asked Monty what he thinks about it??

  • on December 5, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Very intelligent CA- hardly an act of a responsible organisation. What next? What were they hoping to achieve?

  • whensdrinks on December 5, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Another day, another Pommy whinge about Australia! Where was this concern for good behaviour 6 months ago when the Australians were in the UK and they were on the receiving end?

  • milepost on December 5, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very poor from CA, when will they learn?

  • Ms.Cricket on December 5, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    It is totally unacceptable. On top of that Cricket Australia is trying to hush and brush this under the carpet. Heads must roll. Sutherland needs to stand up for once.

  • Dragonboyz on December 5, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    I was rooting for Australia for this series but now I am ashamed of the team. The Australian test team of the past decade played the game hard and sledged at the right moments and not all the time. The present Australian team thinks that only way to get victory is to intimidate the opposition in all possible way. If they loose this game then world cricket fans will definitely laugh at them. You are judged by the way you behave when you win and Australia didn't showed their class when they won last match. You wont expect this type of behavior from South Africa or any sub continent team

  • harsidhu on December 5, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Really shamefull for CA But we expect anything more than this from overratted team,overratted coach (boof).By this CA and Australian team is loosing respect and lots of fans who supports Aussie team being Aussie.