Pakistani players Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have decided not to promote controversial products in T20 leagues, and they are planning to introduce a clause into their contracts for T20 leagues for the purpose.
The clause stipulates that these players will refrain from endorsing or participating in promotions related to specific categories of products or services, such as tobacco, alcohol, surrogate batting items, pork products, and adult entertainment. The decision is rooted in their deeply held religious, cultural, and personal values.
In adherence to this clause, the cricketers will not permit the use of their images for promotional campaigns associated with the aforementioned categories. Moreover, they will not accept any financial compensation from these sources. Instead, their earnings will originate from alternative sponsorships, team support, or agreements forged by the league’s proprietors.
A portion of these players is also pushing for these conditions to be integrated into their central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). This move reflects their concern over the increasing prominence of surrogate betting companies’ sponsorships within Pakistan. Some of these entities have employed minor name variations to secure sponsorships, compelling the PCB to enter partnerships with them despite reservations. However, the PCB has confirmed that such contracts will not be renewed after their current term expires.
Babar Azam’s recent actions highlight this principled stance. During the Lanka Premier League, he opted out of displaying a surrogate betting company’s logo on his Colombo Strikers jersey. His decision was formalized in his contract with the franchise, and commendably, the team honored his request.
Instances were observed during the Lanka Premier League where Pakistani cricketers’ images were used by surrogate companies, but swift legal action resulted in their prompt removal. Looking ahead, potential challenges could surface during the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to the involvement of multiple franchises with surrogate companies. In light of this, franchise owners are seeking clarification from the PCB on this matter. They are awaiting a conversation with Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the Management Committee, to address the issue comprehensively.