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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Stop accepting sponsorship from alcohol brands' : Mike Whitney

Former Test star Mike Whitney has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to stop accepting sponsorship from alcohol brands as it encourages heavy drinking among players.

"They're legal drugs that are sold and create a lot of misery," Whitney said.

The Australian cricket team is sponsored by a leading beer brand and Whitney feels such an association is not healthy for the game.

In the current team, Andrew Symonds, a self-confessed heavy drinker, has been a problem child despite his invaluable contribution to the team as an all-rounder.

He has been involved in drunken brawls and once turned up for playing in a Test match in an inebriated state.

Whitney felt the current generation of players cannot handle themselves after a session of drinking heavily.

"I can't see these guys would come anywhere near close to drinking what my era consumed. When we came into the dressing room there would be two or three Eskies of beer - cold and waiting for you there. Sponsor's product. Happy days," Whitney was quoted as saying by 'The Age'.

However, CA said there was nothing wrong in having alcohol brands as sponsors.

"We're paid in dollars, not in schooners," CA spokesman Peter Young said.

"It would reduce the revenue of sport and it's ability to operate, and sport provides the nation with a social benefit," he added.

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