Is the King of beverages unable to land one of the biggest fishes of the Indian Premier League? If you observed one man closely during Wednesday night's match between the Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals, you would have noticed something out of the ordinary.
Yusuf Pathan, whose big hitting has been one of the biggest draws at the IPL, has the Kingfisher logo on his team shirt taped over. Kingfisher, which is known as a beer brand but has since diversified into several other things, co-sponsors several teams, aside from owning the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“It (Kingfisher) is an alcohol brand and consuming or promoting it goes against my personal religious beliefs,” Yusuf told the Hindustan Times.
While the rest of his teammates sport the logo, Yusuf's shirt had a distinct look, with the Kingfisher logo taped over. Yusuf, incidentally, has had a religious upbringing, having grown up in a Baroda mosque. His father was a muezzin — the man who gives call to muslim prayers.
While Yusuf's gesture is unique in the IPL, it is not without precedent. South Africa's Hashim Amla, who is famous for his W.G. Grace-like beard and even scored at the grand old man's rate recently in India, sought his national board's permission to avoid using the Castle Lager (a beer brand) logo on his shirts. Though Castle are longstanding sponsors of the South African cricket team, the board readily granted Amla permission.
Quite predictably, the Rajasthan Royals aren't losing sleep over Yusuf's decision. “It is a minor thing,” said a team spokesperson, dismissing it as a personal choice. If Yusuf keeps batting like he's doing, the management will have no reason to object.