Thatscricket - News - Remove ~~insidious~~ mikes, says Lillee

Published: Friday, February 2, 2001, 15:00 [IST]
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Perth: Fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee on Friday urged the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) to demand the removal of on-field microphones of the type that landed controversial leg spinner Shane Warne in hot water last weekend. "The ACB must now demand the insidious stump microphones be removed for all time," the retired Lillee wrote in 'The West Australian' newspaper.Warne was called before the ACB to explain himself after expletives uttered by him to batsman Stuart Carlisle in last Sunday's tri-nations series One-day match in Sydney against Zimbabwe were picked up by a stump microphone and relayed to thousands of lounge rooms.The ACB decided not to penalise Warne, but to discuss the issue with executives of Channel Nine, the TV station which covers all international cricket in this country."Maybe the ACB board of directors are suffering from amnesia because it seems they have forgotten who is running the game in this country," Lillee said."Quite obviously, the system Channel Nine have in place does not work as it was intended initially. The touchy issue of on-field comments being picked up and delivered into loungerooms has to be dealt with swiftly. Unless something is done, Warne won't be the last to fall victim."Lillee said the first thing that crossed his mind after the Warne incident was to wonder why something Warne said out in the middle was heard when countless other players could be seen mouthing words in silence."Was he set up?" he asked. "If so, the person responsible should be sacked. Those who claim that, because of the microphones, language used by players out on the field should be no stronger than if they were attending an afternoon tea party at Buckingham Palace, simply don't know what they are talking about."The suggestion that players should always bite their tongue these days because they are earning big money, is equally ludicrous."During the heat of battle at the highest level of cricket, players are always going to express themselves spontaneously from time to time - and those expressions should be allowed to stay on the field."Lillee said TV coverage of cricket would not suffer greatly if stump microphones were removed. "It is not only becoming an embarrassing blight on the game, but a gross invasion of privacy," he said.Copyright AFP 2000

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