Should stump mics be turned off?

Josh Hazlewood reacts during day four of the second test. Photo / Getty
Josh Hazlewood reacts during day four of the second test. Photo / Getty

Two former Australian bowling stars have called for stump microphones to be turned off in the wake of the Josh Hazlewood controversy.

Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris posted their views on Hazlewood's aggressive response to the umpires yesterday during the second test against the Black Caps in Christchurch.

But rather than condemn Hazlewood, who was fined 15 per cent of his match fee, for his ugly rant the duo called for an end to the monitoring of on-field conversations between players and umpires in the heat of battle.

The big fast bowler reacted sourly after having an LBW referral turned down against Kane Williamson, with the third umpire finding hotspot showed a faint inside edge on the ball before it crashed into the Black Cap batsman's pads.

"Who the f*** is the third umpire?" he said as his captain Steve Smith and other team-mates also rounded on umpire Ranmore Martinesz.

Kiwi television commentators and former internationals Ian Smith and Mark Richardson slammed the Aussies for their "intolerable behaviour".

"You can't question him and be angry like that. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. It's not this man's fault. He gave it not out. You asked, he provided the evidence.

He does not deserve a grilling out there, I'm sorry ..." said commentator Ian Smith.

"I'm sorry but that behaviour is intolerable," added Mark Richardson.

But both Johnson and Harris both argued stump microphones should be turned off and that anyone in the Aussies' position would have shown their frustration too.

Their stance on Twitter led to an online argument with a leading Australian cricket journalist, Ben Dorries of the Brisbane Courier-Mail.

Harris re-tweeted Johnson's opinions, adding his own views before Johnson took aim at Dorries again.

Another Aussie player Mitchell Starc then felt compelled to weigh in on the action, claiming players "can't win" because critics would never be happy with how they reacted on the field under any circumstances.

Speaking to the media after the day's play, Jackson Bird supported the view that stump microphones should be turned off.

"I don't see why the stump microphones need to be broadcast to the whole world, I'm not sure why they were."

News Corp cricket writer Ben Horne later tweeted Hazlewood had pleaded guilty after being charged with dissent.

Johnson was at the centre of one of the most infamous incidents involving a stump microphone during the first Test of the 2013/14 Ashes.

Johnson was bowling some short stuff to England tailender Jimmy Anderson when then-captain Michael Clarke told him to "get ready for a broken f****** arm".

- NZ Herald

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