Sport Cricket Steve Smith heckled in ‘walk of shame’ as big-money sponsors cut cricket ties

Steve Smith heckled in ‘walk of shame’ as big-money sponsors cut cricket ties

Steve Smith
Smith walks through an airport in Johannesburg. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

The financial fallout to the cheating scandal that has rocked Australian cricket is well under way, with Cricket Australia (CA) major sponsor Magellan announcing on Thursday they had torn up a $20 million deal with the organisation.

And just hours after disgraced former captain Steve Smith was booed, heckled and taken through a terminal at an airport in Johannesburg, sportswear company ASICS revealed it had cut ties with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the other players involved in Australia’s plot to tamper the ball in the third Test against South Africa.

All three have been suspended for their behaviour, Smith and Warner for 12 months and Bancroft for nine. Smith will front a press conference in Sydney after 6.30pm (AEDT) on Thursday.

More announcements from companies linked to either the players or Cricket Australia may follow, with Warner already having lost his sponsorship deal with electronics company LG Australia.

Wealth management company Magellan, which had naming rights for last summer’s Ashes, signed a reported $20 million deal with CA in August 2017, announcing at the time the company was excited about the “unique opportunity to highlight the benefits of global investing”.

Magellan co-founder and CEO Hamish Douglass announced on Thursday that his organisation had “no option” but to quit the deal.

In a strongly worded statement, Douglass said: “A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian Men’s Test Cricket Team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain an unfair advantage during the third Test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity.

“Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia.

“We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances.”

Magellan Ashes
Magellan signage was prominent through the Ashes. Photo: Getty

ASICS added that they had terminated “sponsorship contracts with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, effective immediately”.

“The decisions and actions taken by David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are not something that ASICS tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for.”

Also on Thursday afternoon, it was confirmed that the Commonwealth Bank had dropped Smith as a brand ambassador.

Cricket Australia’s other key sponsors

When contacted by The New Daily, Toyota Australia revealed it was  “disappointed in the actions of those involved”.

As a result of the Cape Town farce, Cricket Australia will conduct a review on the culture of Australian cricket.

That decision was welcomed by Toyota.

“We support Cricket Australia’s decision to initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of the Australian men’s teams,” a spokesperson said.

Qantas told The New Daily its position had not changed, indicating the organisation was still contemplating where they stood.

“We are in discussions with Cricket Australia as this issue unfolds,” Qantas said earlier this week.

TV walk of shame: ‘This is disgraceful’

As vision of Smith’s walk through OR Tambo International Airport emerged, many cricket greats reacted in shock.

The 28-year-old was flanked by an army of police and security officers who attempted to ward off reporters, onlookers and those who wanted to abuse Smith.

“This vision is horrific,” Australia great Dean Jones posted on Twitter.

Spin king Shane Warne shared a similar view, posting: “This is disgraceful ! @stevesmith49 is not a criminal !!!!!”

Smith will speak to the press on arrival at the Sydney Airport on Thursday evening.

View Comments