Ashes controversy over 'racist' Panesar tweet in second Test
Day one of Test ends all square, but another off-field incident overshadows the action
ENGLAND were left ruing three dropped catches that would have given them the ascendency on the first day of the second Ashes Test at Adelaide. As it was the opening exchanges ended with honours even as Australia finished the day on 273-5.
But even though the Test is nicely poised, events on the field were once again overshadowed by incidents off it, after Cricket Australia was accused of racism over a tweet showing a picture of four Sikh men dressed as Teletubbies with the caption: "Will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?"
The image was posted soon after it was announced that Panesar would be in the England XI for the match. It was later deleted and an apology was issued after other Twitter users took umbrage.
The incident is "particularly embarrassing" for Cricket Australia says the Daily Telegraph as it comes a week after it disciplined a stadium announcer in Alice Springs for putting on an Indian accent as he introduced Panesar during an England warm-up match.
"The board's twitter account and website has taken an edgy and provocative editorial stance on this tour, frequently poking fun at England and syndicating negative stories about the team," adds the paper.
According to The Guardian Cricket Australia has been "hoist by its own petard" and has been forced to change its Twitter policy in the wake of the gaffe.
It is now running two accounts. The original account is now called CA News and is billed as "the independent news arm working out of Cricket Australia", while another account, CAComms, has become the "official communication" channel.
The furore did not appear to affect Panesar who took the wicket of Steve Smith and was singled out for praise by Geoffrey Boycott, who told the Telegraph that he had bowled "beautifully".
However, he was also one of the players to drop a catch, letting a return chance from George Bailey slip through his fingers when he had scored just ten. He went on to make 53.
Both the not out batsmen, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, were also dropped. Joe Root put down a sharp chance off Clarke when he was on 18, while Michael Carberry failed to hold a sitter from Haddin at the death. ·