Coded messages deter ICC from allowing microphones

Updated: Jun 15, 2010, 17:29 PM IST

Sydney: The fear of corrupt cricketers sending coded messages to illegal bookmakers and gamblers live on air, is stopping the International Cricket Council from allowing broadcasters to strap microphones to players during one-day internationals.

The recent controversies surrounding alleged match fixing and spot fixing has led to increased resistance from the ICC, which is not in a mood to relent despite Channel Nine`s insistence.

The concerns about corruption within the game may also lead to the withdrawal of permission for players to wear microphones in Twenty20 internationals.

No players are allowed to wear microphones in ICC events such as World Cups and Champions Trophy tournaments, but in bilateral series, host boards can decide if their players will wear them for the broadcaster, a newspaper reports.

Networks consider this a great tool to boost audiences because the viewer can get closer than ever to the action by listening to what players are thinking at crucial stages.

Channel Nine has had positive feedback from viewers to players being able to speak while on the field in T20s and wants to use the system in ODIs, where ratings are lower.

Nine`s executive producer of cricket, Brad McNamara, said the blockade reflected double standards by the ICC because they allow players to wear microphones in international Twenty20s.

"There is absolutely no difference as far as we`re concerned, that is one thing we`re going to investigate, we can`t see any problems with it. I think it is a little bit overprotective, we think they are being way oversensitive about it," he said.