Jos Buttler has come out cautiously in favour of calls for stump mics to be turned off during play after he was heared swearing at Vernon Philander on the field, leading to an ICC sanction.
Buttler was fined 15 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for calling the South Africa all-rounder a “f***ing k***head” during a heated exchange on the fifth afternoon at Cape Town as England hunted victory.
The ICC Code of Conduct specifically refers to players not using “an audible obscenity”, and had the stump mics not been in use, it is likely Buttler would have avoided punishment, and when asked if the on-field audio devices should be turned off for TV coverage purposes, Buttler was tentatively supportive.
“Potentially yes,” Buttler told BBC Test Match Special. “In Test cricket there’s lots of high emotions at times. There can be things said that don’t really mean anything but for viewers at home can come across very poorly. It’s a tough one. We understand that it adds to the viewership experience having stump mics and being able to hear what goes on but also the players like the fact that what goes on the field should stay on the field and isn’t heard by everyone at home.”
However, Buttler was still apologetic for his actions, putting his error down to “the heat of the moment and a bit of red mist”.
“I fully understand that as role models we have duty to behave in a certain way and I’d like to apologise and I understand that that’s not the way to behave so I take the slap on the wrist and move on,” he said.
The third Test begins at Port Elizabeth on Thursday, January 16.