England's county cricketers have been advised to stay away from social networking sites like Facebook as there are fears that they might end up adding bookies and match fixers as their friends.
A day after it was revealed that two Essex players are under police investigation for "match irregularities", county cricketers have been told not to divulge personal information on sites like Facebook.
"Often they (the gamblers) target players who like to gamble, or are in debt, or both. We have told the players that social networking sites are dangerous things. Some of them have literally hundreds of friends on Facebook and they don't know many of them personally," Professional Cricketers' Association's legal representative Ian Smith was quoted as saying by 'The Times'.
"Yet they give away personal details that make it easier for someone to find out about them and cultivate them," he added.
Speculation is rife that Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria could be one of the two players under investigation.
Yesterday, Essex chairman Nigel Hilliard was interviewed by the police over allegations that two players underperformed for money during the Pro40 matches last September. Essex won three matches in six days during that period.
Smith said the ICC was keeping a close eye on the matter.
"I saw the ICC anti-corruption guys in Abu Dhabi (in February) and the message from them is that domestic cricket has grown considerably in the consciousness of followers around the world," Smith said.
"More county cricket is being broadcast in India and the scale of it came as a surprise to the players. Nor did most of them have any idea how grooming takes place. The guys who target them are very patient. They are prepared to build relationships over long periods.