England cricketers banned from social networks

Players banned from Facebook and Twitter over fears of leaking dressing room secrets.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has banned its cricketers from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

The board wants its players to focus on their practice and on-field performance during international tournaments, instead of on tweets or Facebook messages.

Currently, cricketers Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen and Steven Finn together attract 150,000 followers on Twitter.

The board believes that indiscriminate tweeting may result in a leak of dressing room secrets.

The England cricket team's management, supported by captain Andrew Strauss, intends to introduce a clause in the new ECB contracts for 2010-2011, banning players from tweeting while playing for the country.

The ECB will also stipulate that to qualify for an England contract, players must sign for a county club.

The players, however, see their social networking activities as a harmless diversion. which help them promote their sponsors by frequently mentioning their brands in messages.