Australia to quell anti-Broad sentiment

Have requested closure of a Facebook page that incites fans against the England fast bowler.

BLATANT CHEATING: Broad refused to walk after edging one in the first Test of the last Ashes.

Cricket Australia are trying to suppress the surge of fan antipathy against England's Stuart Broad by requesting closure of a Facebook page whose creator has promised to tackle Broad on the field during the Boxing Day Test, if the page attained 100,000 likes. A report by ESPNcricinfo's Daniel Brettig says how the drive against Broad, who had refused to walk after a clear edge in the first Test of the previous Ashes, has multiplied manifold over the past few months.

Cricket Australia were silent when Lehmann was fined $3,000 by the ICC for referring to Broad's "blatant cheating" when he did not walk after edging a catch behind the wicket in the first Test of the previous Ashes series at Trent Bridge, adding that he expected Australian crowds to make the Englishman's life a misery down under in the return bout.

"I hope they give it to him right from the word go for for the whole summer, and I hope he cries and goes home," Lehmann said on Triple M, the radio station that has won a share of the commercial rights for the summer. "I just hope everyone gets stuck into him, because of the way he's carried on and the way he's commented about it in the public is ridiculous."

The subsequent campaign against Broad has veered into evermore outlandish territory, peaking with the creation of a Facebook page entitled "100,000 likes and I'll tackle Stuart Broad on Boxing Day". The page has now accumulated more than 114,000 likes, moving CA to request it be removed from the social networking site and warning the page owner against carrying out his threat.

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