England's cricketers are facing a ban from social networking websites Twitter and Facebook, according to the Mail on Sunday.
England management, supported by captain Andrew Strauss, seem determined to write a clause in the new ECB contracts for 2010-11 banning players from tweeting while on England duty, according to the report.
Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen and Steven Finn have built up sizeable followings on their Twitter pages, attracting nearly 150,000 followers between them, the newspaper says.
Anderson and Swann, a prolific tweeter, have long been conducting a private ratings battle, while Pietersen has been sending messages regularly on his way to 'work' in the mornings, the report said.
But while the players see their activities as a harmless diversion with potential for commercial opportunities by way of frequent mentions for sponsors, the team management want players to focus on practice and their on-field performance when on international duty, the Mail on Sunday added.
The England management believe the tweeting may lead to dressing-room secrets slipping out and becoming public and they are also mindful of the cases of the Yorkshire pair Tim Bresnan and former England Under-19 captain Azeem Rafiq, both guilty of injudicious messaging, it said.
In Rafiq's case, the 19-year-old all-rounder responded to being dropped for a match against Sri Lanka with a tirade in which he tweeted that coach John Abrahams was a 'useless ******', leading to a £500 fine and a one-month ban from all cricket, the newspaper said.
On behalf of the tweeters, advisers from the Professional Cricketers' Association have argued that the existing regulations are sufficient to deal with any misdemeanours, the report. added.
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