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    July 18, 2005

    PCB says no to Johnnie Walker logos for Super Series

    Earlier this month, the ICC announced squads of 20 players to represent the World XI against Australia in the Super Series in October. In May, a bigger squad had been announced containing virtually everyone who could hold a bat or throw/bowl a ball.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board has now decided to throw a spanner in the ICC's works. With well known whisky brand Johnnie Walker being the title sponsor, and given strict Islamic laws on alcohol, the PCB has made it clear that if any of its players is picked for the game, they will not not wear or display the sponsor's logos. Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Abdur Razzaq are on the selectors' shortlist.

    My guess is that the ICC will find this hard to resolve. They could take a way out and use some surrogate advertising by perhaps featuring "Johnnie Walker mineral water". Three years ago, the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka had a mini-crisis as the ICC ruled that the Indian team could not display the Sahara Group's brand/image/logo since an official sponsor, South African Airways, complained about Sahara's airlines business being in direct competition, ignoring the point that Sahara Airlines was a domestic airline. This was after the ICC allowed usage of 'Subrata' rather than 'Sahara' but South African Airways protested (too much!) over the colour scheme, which incidentally incorporated colours from the Indian flag. So if Sahara could not adopt a different name to sponsor its team, should Johnnie Walker be allowed to do so?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:56 AM |
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