The Australian cricket team took a leaf out of Adam Gilchrist’ book after their request of muting the volume of stump microphones was turned down. The stump microphones were always going to be a problem from the start of the Test series as the Kangaroos had made their intentions of using verbal volleys clear from the start. But after their wishes were ignored Steve Smith’s side took the matter into their own hands and started promoting Cricket Australia sponsors Qantas and XXXX during the play.
Earlier, in 2006 Gilchrist had decided to give his team’s sponsors some free on-air advertisement knowing it would frustrate local sponsors. Similarly, on second day’s play, Tim Paine was heard saying, “Well done! Earning yourself an XXXX, it’s the best beer in the world.” Another Australian player was also recorded saying to an umpire (who are sponsored by Emirates), “How good is Qantas?”
The Australians have always been unhappy about on-field audio being heard on television. Australian spinner Nathan Lyon had said, “What happens on the field stays on the field. We’re all grown men. We compete hard. We know where the line is. We headbutt it probably, but we are not going to go over the line.”
Meanwhile, after the end of play on day two, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh dismissed suggestions that the behaviour by the Aussies was a sign of protest.
“I wouldn’t say it was a protest. I’d say it was a great opportunity to give our sponsors a bit of a plug,” he said before adding, “Qantas, thank you for getting us here safely. The stump mics really, for us players on the field, are irrelevant.”