Ahead of the IPL 2021, Cricket Australia (CA) has launched a new protocol over their players' participation. They have made it abundantly clear that they do not want their players to be a part of advertisements that promote betting, fast food, alcohol or tobacco brands. As a result of this new Cricket Australia diktat, several Australian players may be in a dilemma.
Australians have been endorsing tobacco, alcohol and fast food brands in cricket over the years. Interestingly, KFC is also the sponsor of both the Big Bash League as well as the New Zealand vs Australia series. As a result, Cricket Australia's ruling comes as a major surprise.
On the other hand, the IPL will have Dream11 as its official fantasy partner and Kingfisher is the official partner for a majority of the IPL teams, while its parent company Diageo owns the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise. So the question remains as to how will IPL franchises model their advertising campaigns based on this diktat, which can be a headache when it comes to sponsorship deals and player contracts alike.
Perhaps the most affected IPL team as a result of CA's new diktat will be RCB. Amongst the 19 Australians set to play in IPL 2021, as many as 6 Australians are part of the RCB team 2021: Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams and Josh Philippe. With the likes of Kingfisher starting the multi-team advertisements with their 'OOH LA LA' advertisement, it will be interesting to see if teams like RCB opt out this year. The franchises' other options could include renegotiating with Cricket Australia on the ruling, or rework their sponsorship contracts with the brands. As a last resort, franchises would not put the logos or advertisements featuring Australian players at all.
Glenn Maxwell was undoubtedly the most shocking buy of IPL 2021. After been released by the Kings XI Punjab this season due to his previous underwhelming performances, RCB bought him in for a staggering INR 14.25 crore. Kings XI Punjab had previously purchased Maxwell for INR 10.75 crore. Despite Maxwell's poor performances in the previous few seasons, RCB yet has high hopes and now it is up to Maxwell to justify his contract.
Daniel Sams, who is known for his death bowling, was traded in by RCB from the Delhi Capitals for an all-cash deal. Despite being the highest wicket-taker in the ninth edition of the BBL with 30 wickets, Sams just played three games for the Delhi Capitals and did not take a single wicket. The other player traded in by RCB from Delhi Capitals was Harshal Patel.
The much-awaited 2021 IPL season is set to begin in the second week of April. All teams have finished their trades and now have their eyes set on the coveted prize.
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