Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp
Cricket Australia's integrity unit is looking into an incident during Wednesday's Big Bash League game between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers after the broadcasters, Channel Ten, passed on tactical information to Brad Hodge, the Strikers captain, during the game. The governing body said it was "disappointed" with the incident.
After his team posted 178, Hodge was miked up in the field - as he has been all tournament - by Ten. Statistician Lawrie Colliver revealed on air that one of Hodge's bowlers, Ben Laughlin, had a strong recent record against Thunder captain Shane Watson, information that commentator Mark Howard then passed on to Hodge when they next spoke. An over later, Hodge brought Laughlin into the attack. Laughlin's introduction did not bring about Watson's wicket, though, and Thunder eventually lost by 77 runs.
"Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said. "We educate our broadcasters at the beginning of each season in the area of Cricket Australia's Integrity codes and policies so they fully understand the extent we take to ensure the integrity of cricket in the country.
"We are disappointed with the comments made on the BBL broadcast last night, and expressed this concern immediately to Channel Ten when it occurred.
"Cricket Australia's integrity unit is looking into the matter further to ensure the comments made during the broadcast did not jeopardise the integrity of last night's match."
On Thursday, Network Ten apologised for the incident. "Network Ten apologises to Cricket Australia for comments made during last night's KFC Big Bash League match," a Ten spokesperson said.
"The comments were in no way intended to advise Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge on game tactics or influence the outcome of the game. Network Ten ensures that all commentators are educated on Cricket Australia's integrity codes and policies."
After the game, Watson had been left nonplussed when asked about the on-air conversation.
"No," said Watson, when asked if he had an opinion on the issue. "That's what happens. There are always guys who have success against you, and some guys don't. No, I've got no comment."