Banned Aussie trio loses top sponsorship deals after ball-tamper row

In the wake of the ball-tampering incident, top sponsors have terminated their contracts with the three banned Australian cricketers.

AFP

Cricket Australia has handed a 12 months ban for Smith and Warner.

A day after Cricket Australia announced its sanctions for the three players - Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - involved in the ball-tampering episode, big-money brand Sanitarium ended its relationship with Smith as a Weet-Bix brand ambassador effective immediately.

“Weet-Bix ambassadors represent our brand values of trust and integrity, and they speak to everything that is good about being Australian," said Todd Saunders, Executive General Manager for Sanitarium Australia.

"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", he added.

Read: 'Warner hatched ball-tampering plan, Bancroft used sandpaper'

“We recognise the immense pressure and the consequent health and wellbeing impacts this incident has had, and will continue to have, on the players concerned and on the broader Australian Cricket Team.

"As such, Sanitarium has offered support to Cricket Australia to ensure that player well-being is a priority at this time," Saunders said.

Smith, who has been barred from international cricket for 12 months, will reach Sydney late Thursday where the former Australian skipper is expected to face the media.

Meanwhile, Sports apparel maker ASICS Corp on Thursday also dropped sponsorship deals with Warner and Bancroft.

“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.

"The decisions and actions taken by David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are not something that ASICS tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for," the company said in a statement.

ASICS was the second brand to sever ties with Warner after Electronics giant LG had abandoned the southpaw on Wednesday.

CBA ends contract with Smith

Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA), partners of Cricket Australia for over 30 years, on Thursday also decided to cut ties with Steve Smith. "While appreciating the work Steve Smith has done in partnership with us to support cricket for all Australians, in light of recent circumstances we have concluded our current arrangement with Steve as a sporting ambassador," a spokesperson for CBA told Sportstar.

Having said that, CBA will "continue to be proud sponsors of women’s cricket, indigenous cricket, cricketers with disabilities and grassroots cricket across the country."

In yet another major blow to Cricket Australia, the investment firm Magellan also terminated its sponsorship. The three-year deal, struck in August 2017, had been in place for the recent Ashes series.

Some respite

Meanwhile, Lion's mid-strength XXXX brand has decided to continue its association with Cricket Australia. “Like all Australian cricket fans, we were disappointed with what happened in Cape Town.We will continue our support for the Australian cricket team," a spokesperson for XXXX told Sportstar. 

Lion had replaced Carlton & United Breweries as Cricket Australia’s 'official beer and cider partner' for international cricket. The contract, which began on July 1, 2017, will run for four years.