Cricket Australia's official account tweeted a picture that drew instant criticism and suggestions of racism.
Panesar, recalled by England for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, was referenced in a picture of four Sikhs dressed as Teletubbies:
It was subsequently deleted, but not before it had been captured and discussed by other users:
Cricket Australia here with a fine line in casual racism pic.twitter.com/Gw9uwcc2rX— John Coventry (@JohnnyCov) Dec. 4, 2013
The tweet drew all the more attention given that an announcer during the warm-up match at Alice Springs last week was stood down after announcing Panesar coming on to bowl in a mock-Indian accent. It should be added, as the BBC amongst others report, that the announcer in question, David Nixon, has denied any suggestion of racism.
Nonetheless, the incident certainly served as a reminder of a line that should not be crossed, making Cricket Australia's tweet stand out all the more.
There was an instant reaction to the piece from Twitter users and English journalists.
I am not one for engaging in Twitter outrage but that @CricketAus tweet actually made me cross. Unbelievably crass— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) Dec. 5, 2013
If you thought Jim Davidson had disappeared, it appears he's turned up as the Cricket Australia twitter guy #Ashes— Daniel Brigham (@Cricketer_Dan) Dec. 5, 2013
What are Cricket Australia thinking by tweeting this? http://t.co/OQYRxyR42D— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) Dec. 5, 2013
Not long after the play began, Cricket Australia issued their apology for the tweet:
We apologise for any offence caused with our previous tweet. That was certainly not the intention. It has been removed.— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) Dec. 5, 2013
All the while, the match got underway, with Australia winning the toss and batting first on what is expected to be a flat wicket.
England, as well as recalling Panesar to exploit any spin, also handed all-rounder Ben Stokes a debut.
Australia named an unchanged XI for the match.
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