London: England cricket chiefs have vowed to get tough with players who "overstep the mark" on micro-blogging site Twitter following a string of controversies in recent weeks.
England Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris told the BBC that officials were drawing up rules aimed at preventing a repeat of the kind of incidents that landed Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas in hot water.
England star Pietersen was fined an undisclosed sum after posting a tirade on Twitter in response to his omission from England's one-day squad. Hampshire skipper Mascarenhas was ordered to pay 1,000 pounds by his county after lambasting national selector Geoff Miller on the site.
Morris said the ECB would seek to include rules about the use of Twitter in future player contracts.
"Twitter is potentially a really good medium for players to get closer to supporters, fans of the England team, people who look at them as role models, but with that freedom of speech comes responsibility and it needs to be used in that way," Morris told BBC's 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.
"Those two players in particular overstepped the mark and they've been punished for it," he added. The rules would be in place before England depart for the Ashes tour of Australia this winter, Morris said.
"That will be part of our player contracts going forward. We've had some good discussions with the players' representatives over this over the last few weeks and that's exactly the type of way we will look to manage Twitter and other social networking sites going forward," Morris said.
"The specific wording is yet to be agreed between ourselves and the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) but certainly there will be some management around the use of Twitter. It's a good opportunity but it needs to be used in the right way."