Captain Smith defends beer logo on Australia shirts
The ‘Victoria Bitter’ logo has been emblazoned on Australian kits for a number of years, but the lucrative sponsorship deal came under fire this week from New South Wales state premier Mike Baird, who has slammed the use of alcohol advertising in cricket and other local sports.
Baird told a charity dinner that it was an “incredible position” that Smith and team mates would play with the logos prominently displayed.
Smith, who plays for New South Wales in the domestic Sheffield Shield, was unfazed, however.
“I don’t think we have any problem with it,” Smith told local media of the branding. “We actively try to get out messages.
“We’ve got the ‘Know when to declare’ campaign, so we’re actively trying to restrict the level of consumption of alcohol to a responsible level. That’s pretty important for us.
“We’re promoting the brand,” he added. “Not the consumption of alcohol.”
Beer-soaked celebrations have been a part of the dressing room culture for most Australian teams of recent vintage.
Former test batsman David Boon is credited with drinking 52 cans on a flight to England for the 1989 Ashes tour, though the Tasmanian has since cast doubt on that legend.
Beer logos have not gone down well with all local players, however, with Pakistan-born legspinner Fawad Ahmed granted permission to play without one on his shirt during one-day matches in 2013 in deference to his Muslim faith.