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Fears of match fixing prompt Twitter ban during World Cup games

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a ban on all players and officials from tweeting during games at the World Cup, in an attempt to ensure that the notorious sports betting industry on the sub-continent doesn’t try and use Twitter to get inside information that may affect the outcome of games.

The ban on Twitter is not comprehensive, but will be enforced during games. It was prompted after Cricket Australia encouraged team manager Steven Bernard and coach Tim Nielsen to tweet during games as a way of keeping the fans informed during the Ashes. The experiment was a big success, and Bernard attracted over 1 100 followers to his Twitter account.

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But the ICC has decided to err on the side of caution, in an attempt to limit contact between people involved in illegal betting and those with a direct influence on the game. “We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun,” said ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald, “but there is a chance that sensitive information could be passed on during matches in this way, even inadvertently, and we just feel that team managers’ phones should be kept for operational purposes only.”

Cricket Australia accepted the move, saying “we support team management using Twitter as a tool to engage fans, but we understand why, in this particular application, it’s important to not have public communication coming out of player rooms”.

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