Colombo: Cricket's sponsorship row took a new twist on Saturday as Indian players went into their opening Champions Trophy match against Zimbabwe without sporting the team sponsor's logo. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has advised the International Cricket Council (ICC) that the Indian team will play the match against Zimbabwe in shirts bearing no commercial sponsor logo," the ICC said in a statement.
The sport's world governing body wanted the Indian team's sponsors to remove the wings graphic from the new logo since it conflicted with South African Airways (SAA), an official sponsor of the ongoing tournament. The team sponsor, Sahara India group, had already revised the logo once on orders from the ICC and refused to make further changes to the design. "The ICC had previously approved the use of the name Subrata as the team sponsor for the Champions Trophy tournament," the statement said. "Subrata was nominated by the BCCI to replace Sahara as the team sponsor because of a clash with South African Airways." When the ICC turned down Sahara's plea that SAA was an international airline and could not be a rival to a domestic company, Sahara changed the logo to Subrata, named after its chairman Subrata Roy. But Sahara refused to remove the wings graphic on the logo, which signifies the three colours of the Indian national flag.
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