We get all sorts of press releases at Cricinfo. Some are breaking news of a player’s injury; others are more PR-related (“Gloucestershire announce new chef – stop the press!”) and most are plain banal. This, however, takes the biscuit:
Hugo Boss are to sponsor English cricket. According to the sickly email we received, Andrew Strauss said “The photo-shoot was a great experience and good fun, with all the boys really getting into it,” a statement bordering on the hilarious yet with a hint of the disturbing, too.
I suppose it’s a good thing. Could you ever have imagined England cricketers being sponsored by anyone other than a tractor company, or Mrs Brabbleflop’s pork pies in Shrewsbury, in the 1990s? Although perhaps that’s just the point: with success (or at least an increase in popularity) comes commercialism, and hungry marketers desperate for a slice of your fame.
I’ll leave the opinions of those pictured up to you. One final thought: is it significant that Strauss is pictured in the middle of the photo…?