Hughes to model for CA's crowd control campaign

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Sydney, Dec 8 (UNI) Cricket Australia (CA) has chosen one of Australia's greatest sledgers, Merv Hughes, as the face of a crowd control campaign this summer.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland will announce Hughes as the campaign model tomorrow in Melbourne.

Hughes was once fined his entire match fees by Australian Cricket Board (former name of Cricket Australia) on disciplinary charges during a Test in the 1994 tour of South Africa.

Ironically, CA is keen to use Hughes' such rowdy image to control the drunkards who make One-day matches, in particular, anti-family.

The biggest problems each year are during One-dayers at the MCG and CA feels that, as a Victorian, Hughes may make the greatest impact.

The ''Friendly Serve from Merv'' campaign will comprise targeted advertisements in lads mags, outdoor billboards, and television commercials that will be shown on scoreboards at each international match for the remainder of the season.

The campaign forms part of CA's broader crowd management plan, which includes CCTV, 'dob a yob' campaigns at each ground and a stronger police and security presence.

Some of the sting has been taken out of concerns about crowd behaviour this summer with volatile Indian fast bowler Sreesanth left out of the squad to tour Australia for four Tests and the one-day tri-series, starting from Boxing Day.

Sreesanth clashed heatedly with the Australians and Andrew Symonds in particular during a semi-final of the Twenty20 World Cup in September, which Australia lost, and the subsequent seven-match one-day series in India, which Australia won.

CA initially considered using Symonds as the face of an appeal for improved crowd behaviour.

The idea has been scrapped, with CA denying the racial abuse Symonds suffered during one-day matches in India in October contributed to the decision.

Also shelved to try and reduce poor behaviour was putting a message on the bottom of beer cups to remind drinking spectators of their responsibilities as they drained their last drop.

Young recently said that using a current player for the campaign would put too much pressure on him and could harm his match focus.

Even so, CA believes Symonds would have had great appeal with the wider cricket public, particularly troublesome one-day crowds.

UNI

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