Australia ball-tampering scandal: Magellan leads sponsor exodus as fallout from Sandpapergate continues

One of Cricket Australia's biggest sponsors, fund manager Magellan, on Thursday tore up its contract with the governing body over the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the game.

AFP, Mar 29, 2018 10:33:52 IST

Sydney: One of Cricket Australia's biggest sponsors, fund manager Magellan, on Thursday tore up its contract with the governing body over the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the game.

File image of Australia captain Steve Smith. AP

File image of Australia captain Steve Smith. AP

At the same time, sporting goods company ASICS announced it was ending its relationship with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, two of the players at the heart of the cheating incident, while breakfast cereal Weet-Bix dumped Steve Smith.

Magellan inked a three-year partnership in August 2017 as naming rights sponsor for Australia's domestic Tests in a deal estimated at the time to be worth Aus$20 million (US$15 million). It began with the recent Ashes series against England.

This, it said, was based on "shared values and reputations of integrity, leadership, dedication and an unwavering customer-first culture".

"A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian men's Test cricket team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain an unfair advantage during the third Test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity," said Magellan chief Hamish Douglass in a statement.

"Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia.

"We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances."

The plot to tamper with the ball during Australia's third Test against South Africa in Cape Town last weekend has rattled the game and badly tarnished the careers of Warner, Bancroft and captain Smith.

Warner and Smith have been banned from top-level cricket for a year while Bancroft got nine months.

The disgraced Smith, previously the golden boy of Australian cricket, was an ambassador for breakfast cereal brand Weet-Bix, but it said it no longer wanted to be associated with him.

"Weet-Bix ambassadors represent our brand values of trust and integrity, and they speak to everything that is good about being Australian," Todd Saunders, executive general manager of parent company Sanitarium, said in a statement.

"Their role as a 'Weet-Bix Kid' is to inspire millions of Aussie kids to be the best they can be.

"Based on the ball-tampering incident and the findings of Cricket Australia's investigation, we are unable to continue our relationship with Steve Smith."

Electronics giant LG on Wednesday dropped Warner as a brand ambassador and ASICS ended its relationship with him and Bancroft in a tweet.

"As a result of last weekend's events in Cape Town involving members of the Australian men's cricket team and following the sanctions made by Cricket Australia, ASICS has terminated its sponsorship contracts with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, effective immediately," it said.

Both Smith and Warner have also been ejected from this year's Indian Premier League, losing contracts worth nearly US$2 million each.

Other team sponsors, including Qantas and Commonwealth Bank, have voiced their deep disappointment over the scandal but so far have taken no action.

Updated Date: Mar 29, 2018 10:33:52 IST







Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 South Africa 4280 110
3 New Zealand 3213 107
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4256 89
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6918 126
2 India 8058 122
3 New Zealand 5798 112
4 South Africa 5545 111
5 Pakistan 4872 102
6 Australia 4290 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5590 124
3 South Africa 2960 118
4 England 2586 118
5 Australia 3266 117
6 New Zealand 3367 116