Stump mics have become a new source of amusement and excitement during the matches nowadays. First introduced in the World Series of cricket in the 1980s to pick up the sound of edges and the ball thudding into the bat; the stump mics have taken a life of their own in last decade.
Recently, in the ongoing Test between Australia and South Africa; the Australian players realized that the stump mics’ volume was way up and decided to have some fun and started plugging in their team’s sponsors on air.
As per ICC guidelines, the volume of the stump mic is hushed in between deliveries. But the Australian players realized that the volume of the mics were way up and started plugging Cricket Australia sponsors Qantas and XXXX during the day’s play.
Allrounder Mitchell Marsh said after play the decision to support their corporate partners was made with no malicious intent.
"I wouldn't say it was a protest,” Marsh said. “I'd say it was a great opportunity to give our sponsors a bit of a plug. Qantas, thank you for getting us here safely. The stump mics really, for us players on the field, are irrelevant."
Marsh further said, “It's about us as a team getting the ball in the right areas and we don't really worry about that, it was a bit of a joke to give the sponsors a bit of a plug.”
It isn’t the first time Australian players have used the stump mics to give a shout out to their sponsors. Adam Gilchrist famously plugged in Cricket Australia and his personal sponsors in a Test against Bangladesh in 2006.
AB de Villiers said, “They were very friendly compared to last time. It's the usual stuff. we expect some verbal stuff out there when you're playing cricket in general. It gets the juices flowing. I particularly enjoy it. And from the other side, we also get stuck in and try and unsettle the batters. It's part of the game."