It seems the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been forced to read the towel act at the players in the World Twenty20.
It’s a rich tournament with an overall prize money of Rs 38 crore and a winners’ purse of around Rs 11 crore besides assured participation fee for players. Yet, the world cricket body is fretting over branded towels kept in the dressing room being taken away and has issued an appeal.
HT has learnt that in earlier ICC events there were many instances of players using dressing room towels for other purposes or taking them away as souvenirs. The ICC had to arrange for new towels for teams coming in.
In fact, there is a ‘towels’ section in the WT20 handbook distributed for teams and match officials. The section in bold letters reads: “There will be event branded towels in all dressing rooms for the teams to use. Teams are requested to leave these towels in the dressing rooms and not take them with them as they are to be laundered and reused by the venue.”
However, the ICC has provided other towels for the players and support staff to take as keepsake. “Country branded events embroidered towels will be provided for all members of participating squads. These towels are for the teams and support staff to keep,” the handbook says.
A team liaison officer said: “It is true some players took these towels to carry ice cubes from dressing rooms to their team hotels. Some players tore the towels and wore them around the neck to beat the heat while batting. But there was no official complaint by the ICC.”
The practice is well known. Wimbledon organisers have for years put up with top players taking away towels issued to them, losing huge amounts of money. At the WT20, the ICC deals with 16 men’s and 10 women’s teams.