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Australian players' union to seek feedback on live interviews 

The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) will seek a clarification from television networks over what constitutes acceptable player engagement during matches after the furore created by Steve Smith’s dismissal against India on Wednesday.

Australia’s Channel Nine came under fire on social media with many accusing the network of being responsible for the star batsman losing his wicket in the first Twenty20 International (T20I).

India beat Australia by 37 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The incident took another twist on Wednesday when David Warner asked why Virat Kohli did not receive more scrutiny for his feisty send off to Smith, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Smith had been doing a live interview with Channel Nine commentators Mark Nicholas, Ian Healy and Michael Hussey in the over of his dismissal, but was not spoken to in the lead-up to the ball which got him out.

This is in keeping with the guidelines given to networks regarding when they can communicate with players, one of which is they cannot speak to the facing batsman while the bowler is in his approach to the crease.

The controversy comes days after a boundary-bound shot by Kohli struck Channel Nine’s Spidercam, an aerial camera, and was ruled a dead ball, costing India four runs. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni later said television networks should be fined $2000 every time this occurred.

While the ACA have no qualms about the circumstances leading to Smith’s departure, the players’ union said it would seek feedback from players and speak to networks over the appropriate times they are spoken to.

“We think players have been really accommodating. Being miked up, there is the right time and place to do that but there’s a greater level of feedback we need to seek from players over when that engagement is going to be acceptable. It’s very difficult for players in a live environment to push back on what they’ve been asked to commentate on,” ACA chief Alistair Nicholson said.

“Clearly we need to get more feedback. We’ve seen it evolve over a couple of seasons, the insight on the field is growing and growing and growing, there needs to be more work done to identify what areas can be strayed into,” he said.

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