Nathan Lyon thanks umpires for helping players to avoid mic controversies

The stump-mics have been hogging the limelight for a quite a while now.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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Ever since the stumps on the cricket field have grown ears, life has become challenging for players who remain human beings with emotion and react to match situations accordingly. In the recent few months, a lot of incidents came forth about players targeting the opponents to impact a game and while some of them have been humorous, others have been offensive, making the match officials put in extra work to address the cases.

Recently, Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has revealed that it was the umpires who cautioned players about turned-on stump mics during the summer season at home. India and Australia found themselves engaged in relentless cool verbal exchanges during the four-match Test series and even the Australian Prime Minister mentioned about it during an invitation to the teams at his residence in Sydney in January.

Lyon, who is currently in India playing a limited-over series, also expressed apprehension over the mics becoming a major point of debate during the World Cup starting in England in May. Last year, the International Cricket Council, in a quest to come down heavily on poor behaviour in the ground, asked the broadcasters to use stump-mic audio at any time of their coverage and those in Australia obliged, even going to the extent of silencing the commentators for some overs so that the viewers could get an unhampered access to what the players say over and around the 22 yards.

“I was actually getting notified from the umpires when they were listening … it wasn’t just me. The fast bowlers and everyone else, everyone was made aware they had the stump mics on,” Australia’s cited reports quoting Lyon. The New South Wales spinner praised the umpires saying they played an exceptional role in controlling the environment and also ‘cared a little bit about the players’.

Some experiences were light, others weren’t

While the banter during the Australia-India series was enjoyed by many, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s racist comments, hurled at Andile Phehlukwayo of South Africa was not a happy experience for the cricketing fraternity and Ahmed was handed a ban for a few games.

Former South Africa bowler and director of this year’s WC Steve Elworthy also expressed his preference of mics being turned on at all times so that the fans can reach their heroes. The ICC is also considering whether to try the Australian broadcasters’ approach during the mega tournament.

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