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 England Want Lower Stump Volume

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PostSubject: England Want Lower Stump Volume   Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:26 pm

England are considering asking for the volume to be turned down on stump microphones to prevent their verbal aggression setting a bad example to cricket followers.

Viewers of Sky's coverage of the last two npower Tests against India will have heard England trying to unsettle opposition batsmen with regular chit-chat.

Captain Michael Vaughan has insisted the sledging policy is nothing more than gamesmanship and stressed they had "not said anything untoward", but they are still concerned about the example it may set to youngsters watching at home.

It has prompted England's management team to consider approaching Sky through match referee Ranjan Madugalle, with coach Peter Moores admitting: "It's been under consideration.

"There have to be some things which are left on the field to be fair to the players so they can actually go and play the game without worrying that everything they do and say is going straight into someone's lounge.

"It's something we've discussed as a management team and we'll speak with the match referee. We've got a good man here who is up to speed on all things."

At present the International Cricket Council, the world's governing body, have a strict code for broadcasters which stipulates when they can and cannot switch on the stump microphones.

The ICC policy states that microphones can be switched on while the ball is live, but must be turned off between deliveries unless a batsman is taking guard at the start of his innings.

During this summer, however, viewers have become used to the constant chatter of England's fielders and wicketkeeper Matt Prior in particular, who admits he relishes the banter out in the middle.

But Moores insists England should not change their aggressive tactics just because of the television coverage - providing their antics do not breach the spirit of cricket.

"If you take Matthew (Prior) as an example, he's consistent because that's how he plays his cricket. That's what he was selected for and that's what he does," said Moores.

"Sport is a battle. You play in the fair spirit of the game and that's what makes it enthralling to watch. If people weren't bothered about it and didn't get emotionally involved sometimes it might be quite bland to watch.

"There is no point making noise for noises sake but we've talked before about trying to get England teams appear more up for the challenge.

"The team are going out there and trying to play and represent their country with some passion and commitment to win games. It's quite a young bowling unit and they've played to the best of their ability and they're learning and growing all the time.

"All players from the game will have learned a little bit and will look back on it and think there were things they could have done differently. It's important the game is played with a bit of commitment because it is an international game."

India were also not without blame during the bad-tempered match at Trent Bridge, which the tourists won by seven wickets, with seamer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth being fined for barging into Vaughan while he also ran through the crease to deliver a no-ball and bowled a beamer at Kevin Pietersen.

Some believe their behaviour was linked to England winding up Zaheer Khan while he was batting on the third evening by placing jelly beans on the wicket, which provoked him into waving his bat in the direction of Pietersen in the gully.

It backfired the following day with Zaheer claiming five wickets and earning the man of the match award.

As a result, both teams are due to be spoken to about their behaviour by match referee Madugalle prior to the series decider at the Oval starting on August 9.

"I would hate the jelly bean thing to overshadow the cricket," stressed Moores.

"They shouldn't have done it and it's one of those things where it was meant to be a joke and the game looks a bit silly at the end of it and that's all it was and hopefully that's all it stays.

"We're always talking about the game and ways to make sure you keep the right balance. We saw yesterday morning the team being aggressive by how they bowled which was exciting to watch.

"In all sports we know sometimes things over-spill a little bit, but we try to keep them balanced and hopefully the sportsman learns the right lessons and we move forward.

"As a team I think we've played with good aggression. There's always individual instances in a game that people can look back on and I'm not in the middle but I think we've tried to play the game within the spirit of the game but with passion and commitment."

He added: "It's been a thing that the English public want to see from their teams and when they play they're up for the challenge and I think this team have done that.

"They've been beaten by a better team in the last Test and we've got to come back at the Oval and show we've got something left to try to win that Test and level the series."
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