Australia have ruled out following England's reported lead of banning their players from using the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook during the forthcoming home Ashes series. Weekend reports said England's cricketers were facing a ban from using Twitter and Facebook while on England duty, with team management worried they could be a divisive influence and lead to dressing-room secrets being revealed.
The Australian opening batsman Phil Hughes caused a stir when he revealed on Twitter during last year's Ashes series in England that he had been dropped hours before the third Test. Cricket Australia's general manager Michael Brown said CA had no problem with players using the popular social networking sites. "I was just listening to Michael Clarke who has 42,000 people listening to his tweets," Brown told reporters at the team's training camp at Coolum in Queensland today.
"At this stage, it's really important that we are on about growing the game and embracing the future, and young people are a critical part of it. "We want young people to be associated with the game." The Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the networking sites were a good way for the public to get to know players "behind the helmet". "It is your job as international players to promote the game and be the best you can for the game," Ponting said.
"And if we can use social networks, if that brings people closer to the game, brings people through the gates to play, then that's what it is all about. "The biggest thing we face as international players is ... everyone knows us with the helmet on but very few in Australia or around the world actually understand what we are like with the helmet off. "If there are ways to express yourself then feel free to do that, I am totally all for that as long as it is done the right way and within reason -- you won't see us banning our players from doing that sort of stuff."