Cricket bats on
THE sun was yet to rise in Sydney’s west at 6.30am yesterday morning and already David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb were out shooting a commercial for Asics.
By 10am a feeding frenzy had broken out over Big Bash League signatures and later in the day there were strong indications that young leg- spinner Mitchell Swepson was in the box seat to join the Test squad to tour Bangladesh and potentially oust Ashton Agar for a spot in the attack.
The ink had barely dried on the game’s long overdue Heads of Agreement and in an instant cricket woke from its restless hibernation quicker than a grizzly bear poked with a stick.
The war is over but there is lost ground that must urgently be made up and that was no more obvious than out in Blacktown where Warner, Maxwell and Handscomb posed shivering in the new Asics Test, one day and T20 apparel – all with empty real estate on the chest where a major sponsor’s logo should be.
MasterCard is rumoured to be one sponsor in the running for naming rights on Australian shirts, and Cricket Australia hope to announce their new corporate partners within the coming fortnight.
The companies’ refusal to sign on the dotted line until the game’s future was secured was a major factor that finally ended the bitter stalemate between CA and the ACA.
Already Asics ads will go to air and print without the major sponsor’s logo displayed on its shirts, but the official apparel brand is desperate for confirmation soon so they can start producing the official replica merchandise that will spin cash registers all summer.
New beer partner XXXX has a carton ready to go displaying the Australian bowling attack, but they haven’t been allowed to press print until an MOU was agreed upon.
The moment state and BBL offices opened their doors yesterday morning, they also braced for instant mayhem.
It’s understood most BBL clubs only have eight players signed for the coming season and they must now turn nonbinding agreements negotiated during the MOU freeze into certified contracts.
However, it’s understood some players have used the non- binding nature of their talks to test the waters with rivals and see what offers they could get, and now clubs may be fighting each other for the same talent.
State contracting should be a simpler process and the window for that will close next Thursday, with some women already signing on to their lucrative new deals yesterday and men expected to follow suit early next week.
Thursday is also the day the Australian Test team will assemble in Darwin for a training camp to prepare for the two Test tour of Bangladesh kicking off at the end of this month.
Selectors are set to add a 14th player to the squad, with Swepson the favourite.