Australia

Cricket great’s slap threat leads to ban

Kevin Pietersen’s Twitter was temporarily locked after he jokingly threatened to “slap” Piers Morgan.

The pair were involved in a social media spat as they discussed the reopening of pubs in England on Saturday morning.

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Morgan was astonished the Government decided to allow pubs to start serving again despite the threat of coronavirus remaining.

He was even more appalled by the fact that they could pull pints from 6am on a warm Saturday in July.

But former England cricket captain Pietersen supported the move, citing a low death rate before labelling pantomime-villain Morgan “fat boy”.

As things escalated, though, the South African-born batsman quipped he would take a swipe at the ITV host – but the apparent joke was not well received by the social media platform.

Morgan started the exchange by tweeting: “Reopening Britain’s pubs on a sunny Saturday in July was dumb enough.

“Letting them open from 6am is stupefyingly stupid. Does anyone at No10 have a brain? Or do they just want us all to die? Serious questions.

KP replied: “Average age to die is around 80! Small % death rate. Stop your nonsense, fat boy!”

Morgan hit back: “Your tweets to me over the last 4 months: March: ‘STOP SCARE-MONGERING!’ April: ‘Sorry mate, you were right!’

“May: ‘STOP CRITICISING THE GOVT!’ June: ‘The Govt’s a shambles!’ That’s what I call nonsense.”

Cricketer-turned-conservationist Pietersen then fired: “I slap you when I see you! That won’t be nonsense!”

But the tweet was removed by Twitter for “violating rules against abuse and harassment”.

Morgan then shared a screenshot and revealed Pietersen has been blocked for the threat of violence — although the Good Morning Britain presenter knows full well the former cricketer was not being serious with his tweet.

“BREAKING: Kevin Pietersen suspended from Twitter for threatening to slap me,” he wrote.

“Amusing though this is, it was an obvious joke and a) I don’t feel remotely harassed b) he can’t slap his way out of a paper bag.

“So, please reinstate him @TwitterUK — this is ridiculous.”

The message from Twitter to Pietersen said: “You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so.

“This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.

“Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account.”

Another former England cricket captain, Andrew Flintoff, then chipped in.

He retweeted Morgan’s latest tweet and added: “It’s no great loss,” followed by a kiss emoji.

T his article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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