ECB consider gagging order

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering whether to introduce contractual clauses banning players from speaking-out on issues relating to team, management and board. ECB managing director Hugh Morris, speaking to Wales On Sunday, said the board were weighing-up the possibility.

“Part of my new remit is to look at all issues, weigh up both sides of the argument and come up with an agreement that is suitable to both the organisation and the player. Gagging orders raise all kinds of issues with freedom of speech,” Morris told the paper.

“Censorship is not on our agenda, but we don’t want players, or members of the coaching staff for that matter, fearing that anything they say or do in the sacred confines of the dressing room is revealed in a book months later.”

The issue appears to have finally come to a head due to Duncan Fletcher’s recent autobiography, Behind The Shades. Though any gagging-order would only cover those still under contract – Fletcher had left his job by the time the book was released – many of those whose contracts remain have written autobiographies, and more than once comments made in print have caused controversy. Kevin Pietersen, for instance, not for the first time hit out at the recently abolished quota policy in South Africa in his September 2006 book Crossing The Boundary.

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