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Steve Smith, David Warner to suffer financial losses after ball-tampering controversy

Steve Smith and David Warner, two of the glittering names in world cricket and the IPL, are among the biggest earners among Australian sportspersons

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2018 11:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Steve Smith,David Warner,Indian Premier League
Steve Smith (R) and David Warner were both sent home from South Africa after they were found guilty by Cricket Australia in the ball-tampering incident.(REUTERS)

The Cape Town ball tampering scandal will burn a hole in Steve Smith and David Warner’s pockets. The two biggest earners in Australian cricket are expected to lose substantially in the wake of ‘Sandpapergate’ that has disgraced Australian cricket.

Smith and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the player caught on camera attempting to doctor the ball with a piece of tape, were banished for their role in an incident which has dragged Australian cricket’s reputation through the mud. Vice-captain David Warner was also sent packing, amid reports of a massive falling out between him and the team’s fast bowlers who feel they have been unfairly linked to the row.

Under pressure to punish Smith and Warner for bringing the national side to disrepute, Cricket Australia will be on a sticky wicket when it renegotiates the (Australian) $600 million five-year TV deal with Channel Nine at the end of this year. The marketability of the Baggy Green has taken a beating after the tampering controversy.

Smith and Warner were among the clutch of international players who were ‘retained’ by their respective IPL teams. Smith has already been axed as Rajasthan Royals captain and Sunrisers Hyderabad could take a similar decision on their talismanic leader, Warner.

Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad had retained Smith and Warner for Rs 12 crore and Rs 12.5 crore, respectively.

“The scandal will hit the image of both the IPL stars and they could lose almost 20 per cent of the their sponsorship earnings because of this,” said a source aware of Smith and Warner’s endorsement deals in India and Australia.

Sanitarium, on Tuesday, became the first company to distance itself from Steve Smith as cereal-makers Weet-Bix, that once boasted of the Aussie skipper as one of its kids, removed all his references from their website.

Steve Smith of the Australian Cricket Team arrives at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. ( AFP )

Smith is also the face of Korean electronics brand Samsung and one of the global brand ambassadors of American footwear company New Balance, besides being the brand ambassador of Australia.

If Smith is banned for a year, he stands to lose roughly $4.5 million from on-field earnings alone. The Australia captain is on the highest retainer contract list with a base salary of around $2 million per year as he pockets $14,000 per Test.

Warner’s IPL career income till date is approximately more than Rs 45.70 crore while Smith’s career earnings from IPL is around 32.9 crore.

Warner is associated with brands like Asics (footware), LG Electronics, Channel Nine (broadcasters), Gray Nichollas (UK bat manufactuers), Milo (Nestle’s health drink) and Make my wish (an Australia-based NGO).

Jaimie Fuller, executive chairman of the Skins compression wear group of companies, said Cricket Australia’s reputation was on the line due to the ball-tampering scandal.

In a full-page advertisement in Australian newspapers, Fuller pointed out that cricket was more than just a game in Australia.

“Cricket is such a part of our national psyche that it helps define us. It helps give us a sense of what is fair, and what is not; what is right and what is wrong. Even though you (Cricket Australia) are presiding over the sport, it doesn’t belong to you. You are the custodians of it. And now you must get your job right.”

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 08:11 IST