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Broad to be spoken to over tweet

George Dobell
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Stuart Broad will not be fined for formally disciplined for his tweet © Getty Images
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Stuart Broad is to be reminded of his responsibilities on social media following a complaint by the PCB and the Pakistan spinner, Saeed Ajmal.

Broad, England's captain in T20 cricket, incurred the anger of Ajmal and the Pakistan board after making comments on Twitter that could have been perceived as questioning the legality of the bowler's action.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has provided assurances that Broad will be spoken to and reminded of his responsibilities. He will not be fined or formally disciplined.

The incident started when Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, posted a still photograph of Ajmal bowling during the Championship match against Essex on Twitter with the caption "You are allowed 15 degrees of flex in your delivery swing.... #justsaying."

Broad then replied with the comment "This has to be a fake photo?!" before a further tweet stated: "Bowlers can bowl very differently in a lab while being tested compared to needing wickets in the middle."

Ajmal and the PCB interpreted the comments as a suggestion that the action he uses in a match situation is not the same as that used in testing. They also concluded that the comments insinuated that his action may not be legitimate. The PCB and Ajmal's agent then contacted the ECB to seek an explanation.

Ajmal, who played a large part in Pakistan's whitewash Test series victory over England in the UAE at the start of 2012, is currently playing for Worcestershire as an overseas player in the County Championship. He claimed 13 wickets in the victory over Essex, including a career-best haul of 7 for 19 in the second innings.

Ajmal's action has been tested and cleared by the ICC. No county umpires have reported his action this season.

"Broad's dig hurt me the most," Ajmal told pakpassion.net. "Former players will sit in the commentary box or wherever else and say some things for attention but you don't expect such things from a fellow professional cricketer who is still playing cricket. It was disappointing to read Broad's comments."

It is understood that Clarke phoned David Leatherdale, the chief executive of Worcestershire, on Wednesday morning and expressed his understanding of Ajmal's concerns.

"We are grateful for Mr Clarke's understanding," Umran Khan, Ajmal's agent told ESPNcricinfo. "The position of England captain comes with a responsibility and we hope Stuart Broad will bear this in mind when making comments than can be damaging and hurtful in the future."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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