Lanka Board, ICC locked in sponsorship battle

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2002, 20:23 [IST]
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Colombo: Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) is locked in a row with the sport's world governing body over a battle between Pepsi-Cola and a local tea- marketing firm.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has told the local Board that the Sri Lankan team cannot wear outfits advertising Dilmah tea while playing in international matches sponsored by Pepsi. However, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan Board said they entered into a three-year team sponsorship deal with Dilmah tea in October while the ICC's objections were received only last month. "The Board has raised objections with the ICC on the issue and it will be taken up at the Executive Board meeting in Cape Town" over March 21-24, the spokesman said. Sri Lanka was unaware of any restrictions on the advertising of tea, the island's main export commodity, at the time of entering into the deal with Dilmah, he said. The ICC had specifically informed Sri Lanka that tea could not be advertised during the Champions' Trophy and the 2003 World Cup, both tournaments sponsored by Pepsi.

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