Another day, another administrative bungle to fulminate about

The latest tomfoolery concerns sponsorships. Indian readers will sigh, because they are awfully familiar with this scenario.

Anyway, World Cup organisers has instructed Australia and South Africa that they have to cut links with their long-standing sponsers for the duration of the 2007 World Cup.

Australia was the first nation to express its frustration at being told by tournament organisers it had to axe Travelex as its tour backer because its core business of currency exchange infringed on the interests of recently signed tournament sponsor Scotiabank from Canada.

Australia has been told Travelex, which backed Australia when it won the last World Cup in South Africa in 2003, can have no involvement with the team for a five-month period next year including the cup.

And yesterday, representatives from Standard Bank in South Africa expressed their dismay at having to put their long-time deal with the South African team on hold for the tournament in the West Indies next March and April.

There is of course no conflict because Canadian banks do not operate in the Australian marketplace, and I doubt whether or not they feature too highly on the South African financial radar either.

I must say that it is extremely disappointing that the Australian and South African boards have meekly submitted to this.  What is the value of sponsoring the national team if that sponsorship is not visible on the biggest global event in the world.

And who do the organisers think they are, undermining the Australian and South African boards? In whose interests is the 2007 World Cup being organised for? The cricketers, or the sponsors?

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