KohliThe Australian Cricketers’ Association will seek clarification from TV networks over what constitutes acceptable player engagement during matches after the furore created by Steve Smith’s dismissal on Wednesday night.
Channel Nine came under fire on social media with many accusing the network of being responsible for the star batsman losing his wicket in the first Twenty20 international.
The incident took another twist on Wednesday when David Warner asked why Virat Kohli did not receive more scrutiny for his feisty send off to Smith.
Smith had been doing a live interview with Channel Nine commentators Mark Nicholas, Ian Healy and Michael Hussey in the over of his dismissal but was not spoken to in the lead-up to the ball which got him out.
This is in keeping with the guidelines given to networks regarding when they can communicate with players, one of which is they cannot speak to the facing batsman while the bowler is in his approach to the crease.
It’s understood Smith does not blame the broadcaster for his wicket, which sparked a dire batting collapse that crippled Australia’s run chase. The Test and one-day international captain did not appear uncomfortable at any stage during his interview, at points even sharing a laugh with Nicholas.
The controversy comes days after a boundary-bound shot by Kohli struck Channel Nine’s Spidercam, an aerial camera, and was ruled a dead ball, costing India four runs. Indian captain M.S. Dhoni later said networks should be fined $2000 every time this occurred.
While the ACA have no qualms with the circumstances leading to Smith’s departure, the players’ union said it would seek feedback from players and speak to networks over the appropriate times they are spoken to.
“We think players have been really accommodating,” ACA chief Alistair Nicholson said.
“Being miked up, there is the right time and place to do that but there’s a greater level of feedback we need to seek from players over when that engagement is going to be acceptable.
“It’s very difficult for players in a live environment to push back on what they’ve been asked to commentate on.”
“Clearly we need to get more feedback. We’ve seen it evolve over a couple of seasons, the insight on the field is growing and growing and growing, there needs to be more work done to identify what areas can be strayed into.”
Television interaction with players in Twenty20 matches is a feature of both the Nine and Ten networks’ coverage of the format, and welcomed by viewers, who appreciate being taken inside the mind of the player in the heat of battle.
Players are not obliged to wear microphones if asked by a broadcaster and have the right to say no. No Indian player was miked up in Adelaide.
There was an instance in the Big Bash League when the Melbourne Stars’ Kevin Pietersen asked Ten’s commentary team not to speak to him until he was settled in, a wish granted by the network. He was run out moments later.
Warner said he had no problems with being connected to Channel Nine during games, nor did he feel under extra pressure.
“Not at all,” Warner said. “We’ve done that for the past couple of years. Obviously it’s not in the interests of Channel Nine to disturb us while we’re out there and for us to be dismissed.
“It’s upon us to be responsible and professional to actually understand that’s what happens out there.
“It’s about entertainment. We’ve seen it during the Big Bash, we’ve done it plenty of times through Channel Nine. It gives a great insight for people at home, to get an understanding of how we are dealing with situations when we’re out there.”
Channel Nine declined to comment.
Warner, however, could not hide his frustration when asked if he felt Australian players were judged more harshly for their on-field behaviour compared to their rivals.
“I’m going to bite my tongue on that situation,” Warner said.
“If the umpires feel they can take action they will take action. If they don’t, we’ll just sit there and take it on the chin.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.