Cost of ball tampering: Aussie test sponsor drops contract

March 29, 2018

Australian cricket player Steve Smith, escorted by police officers to a departure area at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft are being sent home from South Africa for ball-tampering in the third Test in Cape Town. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

SYDNEY (AP) — Cricket Australia’s test match naming rights sponsor has pulled out of its deal after less than a year and other companies also severed ties with players involved in the ball-tampering scandal.

Investment firm Magellan on Thursday said the ball-tampering episode in the third test against South Africa at Cape Town last weekend was “so inconsistent with our values” it had to end its three-year deal. The contract was only signed in August of last year.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances,” co-founder and chief executive Hamish Douglass said in a statement.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were each banned for 12 months on Wednesday after an investigation into the attempted ball tampering. Cricket Australia said Warner “instructed” young batsman Cameron Bancroft how to carry out the tampering on the field with a piece of sandpaper.

Smith and Warner were banned from playing for Australia, or any high-level cricket in Australia, for a year. Bancroft received a nine-month ban.

Sporting goods company ASICS scrapped sponsorship deals Warner and Bancroft.

″(The actions) are not something that ASICS tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for,” ASICS said in a statement.

All three players have been barred from the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League, with Smith and Warner earlier relinquishing the captaincies of their franchises.

Electronics company LG on Wednesday said it would not renew its soon-to-expire deal with Warner.

Cereal company Sanitarium this week removed all material related to Smith from the website of its breakfast cereal Weet-Bix. On Thursday, it said it was ending its relationship with Smith.

“Based on the ball-tampering incident and the findings of Cricket Australia’s investigation, we are unable to continue our relationship with Steve Smith,” Sanitarium Australia general manager Todd Saunders said in a statement.

Reports in the Australia media estimate the suspensions could cost Smith and Warner 5 million Australian dollars (US$3.8 million) each in lost earnings and endorsements.

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