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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beer mismatches

Allan Border has denied that his resignation as an Australian cricket selector has anything to do with a conflict of interest between his personal sponsor and the Australian team's sponsor, which happen to be two competing breweries. Some people will believe him.

The fact is that alcohol and cricket are closely linked, though conflicts of interest at the sub-international level seem to be managed by sweeping them under the carpet. Of course it's also forbidden for rank and file spectators to take a sponsor's or competitor's product into a ground (but perfectly OK once inside to buy a plastic cup of the lightest strength beer the sponsor manufactures).

The irony of all this is reflected in the "official" names of several state teams . Two of them today completed a first class match (in a competition sponsored by a milk company): each team was sponsored by a competing brewer. These details only feature prominently on the Cricket Australia website, which, if the delays in posting its "live" scores are any indication, dissuade many people from lingering thereon.

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