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Strauss forced into Twitter talk after Pietersen fine
9:46am Friday 25th May 2012 in International
England captain Andrew Strauss has reminded his players of their responsibilities after Kevin Pietersen's latest Twitter faux pas.
Pietersen was on Wednesday fined an undisclosed amount, reported to be £3,000, by the England and Wales cricket Board after he criticised Sky television commentator Nick Knight on the social networking site.
Team director Andy Flower and managing director of cricket Hugh Morris determined that Pietersen's Tweet - which read 'Can somebody PLEASE tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for Home Tests?? RIDICULOUS!!' - was "prejudicial to the interests of the ECB and a breach of the England player conditions of employment".
To translate, England are understandably keen not to ruffle the feathers of an organisation whose broadcast deal provides the overwhelming majority of their income stream.
It is the second time that former Hampshire star Pietersen has been fined by the management for comments on Twitter after he pre-empted an official squad announcement in 2010 by revealing he had been dropped - a decision he wrote was "a f*** up".
Strauss, who describes himself as "too boring" to Tweet, insisted the issue would not be a distraction to England ahead of tomorrow's second Investec Test against the West Indies, but was clear about the fact that all players must abide by an agreed standard of behaviour.
"It's not a big distraction for us and it's not a massive issue from our point of view, but obviously we have conditions of employment that don't allow us to talk about everything and anything (in public)," he said.
"We can't criticise the ICC, we can't criticise umpires and in this case the board wasn't happy with Kevin's comments with regard to our broadcaster.
"That's their right as a board, so Kevin has obviously received a fine because of that.
"That's the way of the world. If you sign an England contract you can have opinions on certain things but can't say them publicly. That's the way it is and there are good reasons for that. Any employer would expect their employees to be aware of sensitive issues for them.
"You can understand that the board is concerned with making sure their sponsors and broadcasters are looked after.
"I would say we have our own informal code of conduct with regard to Twitter as a group of players. That's worked quite well for us but you are going to get the odd occasion when someone oversteps the mark and that's when the board will step in and say 'sorry mate, that's outside the boundaries and you have to pay a price for it'."
Back on the field, England will step out at Trent Bridge as overwhelming favourites to go 2-0 up the three-match series, having won the opener by five wickets at Lord's.