Australian Cricket sponsors have expressed “disappointment” and called for a swift response from Cricket Australia in the wake of the ball-tampering incident in South Africa.
The incident, which took place during the third test in Cape Town, saw Australian Cricket team captain Steve Smith admit he, Cameron Bancroft, and other senior players, had orchestrated a plan to tamper with the ball in a bid to change conditions of the game.
The incident has caused outrage globally with both Smith and Bancroft fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and widespread calls for an investigation, including strong words from the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Cricket Australia sponsors have publically expressed positions of condemnation for the behaviour, however, all are waiting for a swift response from the official investigation to determine next steps.
Long-standing Cricket sponsor KFC told The Drum, “This is very disappointing for the game of cricket and all Australian cricket fans. We believe it is appropriate for Cricket Australia to fully investigate the events surrounding the incident and to take action that protects the long-term reputation of the sport.”
A spokesperson for XXXX Gold, which has a four-year deal as the official beer of the Australian Cricket team, said, “Like the rest of Australia, we’re deeply disappointed. This is not what you’d expect from anyone in sport at any level.”
A Qantas spokesperson said, “This is deeply disappointing and certainly not what anyone expects from our national cricket team. We are in discussions with Cricket Australia as this issue unfolds.”
Toyota Australia said, “We understand that the Board and Management of Cricket Australia are taking this matter very seriously. Toyota Australia is confident that Cricket Australia will take the appropriate steps in an effort to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”
Bupa added, “We are very disappointed in what has emerged and have expressed that to Cricket Australia. We welcome the move for an investigation by the head of Integrity and Team Performance and await the outcome.
“As a health and care company we believe the game of cricket in Australia is bigger than this incident and the health benefits the sport provides to Australian families is the foundation for our partnership with Cricket Australia.”
The scandal comes at an interesting time for Cricket Australia, which is currently in the midst of broadcast rights negotiations for the next five years. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, last week the sporting body asked free-to-air broadcasters to resubmit their bids after no first-round bids were deemed acceptable.