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Cricket Australia rules out betting sponsor for BBL

Sam Harper of the Renegades attempts a run out during the Big Bash League Final match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Melbourne Stars (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Cricket Australia, has revealed that the body has turned down an approach from a betting company to sponsor the Big Bash League due to the family-focused nature of the Twenty20 competition.

Cricket Australia has an existing agreement in place with international sportsbook operator bet365. The body has come in for criticism from Tim Costello, spokesman for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, for its association with bet365.

The company that has offered to sponsor the BBL has not been named.

Roberts told SEN Radio: “That is something we won’t do because it’s fun, family entertainment.”

On Cricket Australia’s links with bet365, Roberts added: “(There are) two very separate points here. The integrity of the game, it’s all about keeping the game clean.

“And, on the other hand, very separately, we have a commercial arrangement in the sports betting space in Australia. I would note that we’re very conservative in that space…we have an existing commercial arrangement in some other forms of the game and we need to honour that at this point in time.

“But in terms of our future commercial strategy…we’re going to be reflecting on the sponsorship categories and the markets where we want to do more, where we want to maintain our position, and in some cases where we want to do less.”

Roberts said the organisation would review its agreement with bet365 “when the time is right”.

Cricket Australia recently posted an operating surplus of A$18.2m (€11.2m/$12.4m) in 2018-19 with overall revenues totalling A$485.9m.

Revenue from continuing operations stood at A$474.3m, with other income totalling A$11.6m. The A$18.2m surplus figure is more than double that of the previous year (A$8.3m).