Hugh Morris concerned by cricketers on Twitter

ENGLAND managing director Hugh Morris has spelled out his concerns about players using Twitter, claiming: “It is like giving a machine gun to a monkey.”

A number of England cricketers have fallen foul of the team management after posts on the social media network, while others, including Graeme Swann, are regular ‘Tweeters’. Last year, Kevin Pietersen apologised for a Twitter outburst which followed his omission from England’s limited-overs squads for the series against Pakistan. Yorkshire and England bowler Tim Bresnan also had to apologise when he became embroiled in an expletive-laden Twitter exchange with one of his followers.

Morris said: “I kind of get Twitter... it’s a great medium for pushing out good messages when it is done really well. When it’s done poorly it is a complete and utter nightmare for those of us trying to manage and lead teams. It is like giving a machine gun to a monkey. It can be fantastic or it can be an absolute disaster too.”

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Morris also revealed England’s Ashes triumph in Australia last winter was helped by a detailed strategy to manage the players’ wives and girlfriends. The meticulous preparation included the families flying separately to the team to avoid Australian TV carrying pictures of players “carrying crying babies”, and a pep-talk for the ‘WAGs’ to help inspire their partners to beat the Aussies. Morris told UK Sport’s world class performance conference at London’s ExCel centre: “We have a great set of wives and girlfriends and at the end of the summer of 2010, Andy Flower, Andrew Strauss and myself invited all the girls to a dinner.

“What we wanted to do was manage their expectations. Our guys are away for massive periods of time, 260 days a year in a hotel room. It is really important the girlfriends, the wives and the families go down and see them but at the appropriate time, that’s absolutely critical. We were going to Australia to win cricket matches and we wanted to get that firmly imprinted on everyone’s brain. We asked the girls to help their husbands and their boyfriends beat Australia. It was a really positive meeting.”