When Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes Tweeted his omission from the team to play England in the Third Test last week, all hell broke loose -- at least in this small, watery nation that is enthralled by the Ashes cricket contest against its old adversary.
Hughes did not blaspheme, criticise or appear in any way out of order, but he had jumped the gun when he wrote the following, seemingly anodyne, comment:
"Disappointed not to be on the field with the lads today, will be supporting the guys, it's a BIG test match 4 us. Thanks 4 all the support!"
Coming well before start of play, the disclosure gave England a small tactical advantage and did not go down well with the Aussies' spinmeisters who, like all spinmeisters, seek to command and control proceedings. However, on the positive side, it did provoke this hilariously technologically inept response from Hughes's agent:
"I'm in India and I was dealing with all the stuff through Australia. Unfortunately I am probably the fool in this situation. How our situation works is we get the Twitter from Phillip and I feed them into our IT guy."
Who'd have thunk Twitter could be so complex? But then a few days later, Tottenham footballer Darren Bent was also creating havoc with those who would seek to rein in public perceptions of celebrities by disclosing the fact on his since-abandoned Twitter page that he was unhappy (not his choice of words) with the amount of time a possible transfer to Sunderland was taking.
The lesson here is that Twitter is a loaded gun. The upside is that you get tons of publicity potential but the downside is nasty. If you've got a loose cannon in the organisation keep him away from this stuff.