Mitchell Johnson wants stump microphones to be turned off, Starc and Holder respond
Mitchell Johnson has called for stump microphones to be turned off during breaks between balls, so that TV audiences cannot hear what is said on the pitch. His comments come after the controversy regarding Josh Hazlewood’s abusing of the third umpire, the contents of which were caught by the stump mic and which landed him in trouble.
Stump microphones bring the TV audience into the game, giving a clear audio of what is said by players while the match is going on, but this is not the first time that it has revealed an exchange between players that was not meant to be made public.
Johnson, who retired from international cricket recently, said that he had himself not been above using a few curse words to express frustration while bowling. He was also replying to Kiwi Twitter users, arguing with them that Hazlewood’s act had not been an unacceptable act, and the solution to the problem was to remove the stump mic itself.
Mitchell Starc, on to whom Mitchell Johnson had passed on the mantle of leader of the Aussie pace attack before retiring, expressed his frustration at the perceived clampdown on expressing emotions.
Johnson carried on the banter with Starc, warning him not to criticise the rules too much. Not having retired yet, a public criticism of an umpiring decision is also liable to be charged as an offence by ICC.
@mstarc56 hey lefty. Settle down, you might get in trouble haha— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) February 23, 2016
Starc, however, came up with yet another reply – a reply that shows just why he is Australia’s most feared bowler of the current crop.
A concession came from Johnson soon enough though, as he was forced to accept that asking microphones to be taken off was not a progressive step. He did not specify that not abusing umpires could also be a solution to the problem.
Okay I get what it looks like. I'll take that. More cameras and microscope of the game sees more than years before in the game.— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) February 23, 2016
Meanwhile, West Indies captain Jason Holder was one of those who were incensed at the Australians’ behaviour with the umpire. He referred to the criticism directed at the West Indies U19 team’s Mankading dismissal in the World Cup, pointing out the hypocrisy of their application of the rule of the spirit of the game.