Cricket Australia strikes Alinta Energy shirt deal

Governing body gains first new sponsor following ball-tempering scandal.

Cricket Australia strikes Alinta Energy shirt deal

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Cricket Australia (CA) have announced a four-year partnership with Alinta Energy.

The Western Australia-based energy supplier will serve as the principal partner of the men’s national cricket team in all three formats of the game, securing branding rights to have its name on shirts for all international cricket matches played in Australia.

Alinta will also be the principal partner of CA's national digital community platform Mycricket which manages grassroots-level cricket in Australia.

The firm replaces Qantas Airways in its new role, although the national carrier will continue to be the shirt sponsor for the men’s team for overseas tours.

The financial terms of Alinta’s agreement have not been made public.

The deal, which will begin this home summer, marks CA’s first since the ball-tampering scandal involving the national team this year in South Africa that led to bans for then captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft.

The incident saw television cameras catch Bancroft holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball in a move designed to help bowlers generate reverse swing. Smith later admitted that he and the team’s leadership group had devised a plan to alter the condition of the ball, which involved Bancroft’s use of sandpaper to gain an unfair advantage.

In the fallout, Qantas said they were “extremely disappointed” with CA; whilst Magellan Financial Group became the first major sponsor to terminate its contract with the governing body. Both Commonwealth Bank and breakfast cereal maker Sanitarium Australia axed Smith as an ambassador, and sportswear brand Asics terminated deals with Bancroft and Warner, with the latter also losing his sponsorship deal with Korean consumer electronics firm LG.

Commenting on the new agreement, Alinta chief executive Jeff Dimery said Australian cricket was "an institution that will continue to engage and inspire us.”

James Sutherland, chief executive of CA, added: "Alinta Energy has made a long-term commitment to cricket and the Australian men's team - and we look forward to a successful partnership which includes our support of them and their business growth aspirations.”

Australia will kick-start their home season on 4th November with a three-match one-day international (ODI) series and a one-off Twenty20 International (T20I) against South Africa, before hosting India for the best part of their summer for three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs.