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Cricket ball-tampering scandal: David Warner loses electronic giant LG as sponsor

Multinational electronics company LG has opted not to renew its contract with David Warner following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, even as the sacked Australia vice-captain waits to learn his fate from Cricket Australia

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2018 11:55 IST
Associated Press, Sydney
David Warner,Australian cricket team,Steve Smith
Australia's David Warner, right, leads his team off the field after losing the second cricket Test versus South Africa at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, March 12, 2018. Warner has been sent home by Cricket Australia in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. LG has dropped him as a brand ambassador.(AP)

As the three players at the centre of a ball tampering scandal prepared to fly home to Australia, at least one of the trio, Test opener David Warner, lost one of his major commercial endorsements.

Steve Smith has been temporarily stripped of the Test captaincy and suspended for the fourth Test, along with vice captain Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, in response to the ball tampering on the third day of the Cape Town Test match last weekend.

Cricket Australia hasn’t finalised sanctions for the three players, but lengthy bans are expected.

On Wednesday, LG, a South Korean electronics company, confirmed that David Warner, who signed on as its brand ambassador in November 2014, would not have his contract renewed.

“LG’s current sponsorship of David Warner is in the final weeks, and in light of recent events we have decided not to renew our partnership,” the company said in a statement.

“LG Australia will always look to work with ambassadors that share our core brand values and we take these relationships incredibly seriously.”

David Warner and Steve Smith have been sent home by Cricket Australia after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. (REUTERS)

PLAN GOING WRONG

Sanitarium this week removed all material related to Steve Smith from the website of its breakfast cereal Weet-Bix pending the outcome of Cricket Australia’s inquiry into the ball tampering episode.

Steve Smith and Bancroft confessed that, after a discussion during a break in play last Saturday in the third Test against South Africa, they decided they would try to change the condition of the ball by rubbing it with a piece of yellow adhesive tape and some dirt collected near the pitch.

Bancroft was tasked to do the on-field tampering but botched it when he was caught by television cameras doing the tampering and then trying to hide the tape down the front of his trousers. The evidence from the TV cameras was overwhelming.

Australia subsequently lost by 322 runs and trails in the four-Test series 2-1. The fourth Test begins Friday in Johannesburg, with new players being flown in from Australia to replace the three sent home by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.

“In regards to the three players on report, I want to stress that we are contemplating significant sanctions in each case,” Sutherland told a news conference in Johannesburg.

“These sanctions will reflect the gravity with which we view what has occurred and the damage it has done to the standing of Australian cricket.”

Photo shows Australian cricket captain Steve Smith on the front pages of the major newspapers in Sydney on March 26, 2018. Australia's cricketers have heaped disgrace and humiliation on the country, the local press said in blasting the "rotten" team culture under the current leadership following captain Steve Smith admitting he cheated by hatching a plot to tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on March 24, 2018. (AFP)

REGRET

The players’ union issued a statement Wednesday saying the players are “remorseful for the mistakes they have made.”

“They regret how their actions have represented themselves, teammates, cricket and their country,” Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson said.

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said the ball-tampering incident, combined with mean-spirited exchanges between players in the Australia-South Africa series during the first three Tests, should force the game to have a “hard look at itself.”

“In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball-tampering and some ordinary off-field behavior,” Richardson said.

Smith, Warner and Bancroft were expected to arrive back in Australia on Thursday.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 11:47 IST