Daniel Brettig
Assistant editor, ESPNcricinfo

Australia in England 2013

Fawad's choice opens cultural faultlines

Hurried in as the legspinning saviour of Australian cricket, Fawad Ahmed's choice to not wear the Australian shirt bearing their beer-company sponsors has sparked a wider debate on immigration

Daniel Brettig

September 6, 2013

Comments: 223 | Text size: A | A

Fawad Ahmed bowls during a media session in Melbourne, June 6, 2013
Fawad Ahmed has become part of a wider debate on immigration in Australia © Getty Images
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Fawad Ahmed arrived in Australia as a Pakistani asylum seeker. He became a Melbourne sub-district cricketer and net bowler, then a permanent resident, then a Melbourne Renegades, Victoria and Australia A player, and now a member of the national team. His rise has been hastened by a climate of inclusiveness and expansion championed by those who run Cricket Australia. What has become patently clear this week, and this election month, is that not everyone shares quite the same desire for his inclusion.

As part of their approach, CA lobbied for Fawad to be granted permanent residency, and then for a tweak to Federal legislation that would allow his citizenship to be expedited. With support from both sides of politics, the bill passed. Even before Fawad became eligible, CA asked whether or not he, as a Muslim and teetotaller, would be comfortable wearing the beer sponsor's logo that adorns the Australian team's kit on tour. When Fawad replied that he would prefer not to, uniforms were produced that excluded the Victoria Bitter badge.

He wore these personalised colours for Australia A in England before the Ashes tour, and in South Africa, without anyone raising so much as a hackle. Debuting for Australia in Southampton, and in the second T20 in Durham, the logo was again absent.

But now the matches were higher profile, beamed live back to the other side of the world. A story was written in the Sydney Morning Herald, observing that Fawad was not wearing the sponsor's logo. CA disclosed the bowler's preference not to, and their respect for his decision. A parody Twitter account cast the first stone Fawad's way, making the repugnant suggestion that the logo had been replaced with that of "a major brand of explosives".

CA's chief executive James Sutherland made his indignation plain, declaring: "Cricket Australia would like to express its extreme disappointment over racist comments towards Fawad Ahmed on social media this afternoon. CA does not condone racism in any way, shape or form. CA is fully supportive of Fawad's personal beliefs and he is a valued and popular member of the Australian cricket team and the wider cricket community."

They were strong words, and might have drawn a line under things. Yet two days later another story was published in a rival Sydney newspaper, The Daily Telegraph offering the unvarnished (though far from unprompted) view of the former batsman, raconteur and champion drinker Doug Walters, that "if he doesn't want to wear the team gear, he should not be part of the team. Maybe if he doesn't want to be paid, that's okay".

A day later, with Fawad due to play his first ODI against England at Headingley, the former rugby international David Campese also weighed in, this time decidedly unprompted and via the medium of Twitter. "Doug Walters tells Pakistan-born Fawad Ahmed: if you don't like the VB uniform, don't play for Australia," he wrote. "Well said Doug. Tell him to go home."

Once again, Sutherland spoke for Fawad. "These comments are out of order," he said. "He is an Australian citizen and he is eligible to play cricket for Australia and he has been selected to play for Australia irrespective of his religious beliefs. He is an Aussie and he is welcome to play cricket for his country and any suggestion to the contrary we are strongly opposed to. Some people have used this issue to move away from the central debate, which is largely a commercial issue about sponsorship and taken that into a space as to whether he is entitled to play cricket for Australia or live in Australia and that is just rubbish. They are bigoted views."

Fawad is not the first Muslim cricketer to decline wearing an alcohol logo. Hashim Amla does not sport the sponsors of South African cricket on his uniform for the same reason, and by way of finance does not accept the money that trickles down to the rest of the players from that sponsor. When Campese was reminded of this in a subsequent Twitter dialogue his response was as follows. "It is SA. Who knows what the deal is. And I don't care. At least Doug Walter [sic] cares. Which is a start. Great player."

Not for the first time, Australian cricket finds itself out of step with wider society. Usually, the game has found itself at the conservative edge of the zeitgeist, whether it be bowing to political pressure not to entertain a tour by apartheid South Africa in 1971-72 after being the last nation to pay a visit in 1969-70, or not remunerating players fairly until forced by the cataclysmic force of Kerry Packer's revolution later in the same decade. It could be noted that even the famously shaggy haired Australian Ashes tourists to England in 1975 were sporting a look the Beatles fancied as early as 1967.

"Part of our real focus at the moment is to grow and diversify our participation base. There are a number of players from different cultural backgrounds who are playing in domestic cricket and I guess there are opportunities to highlight that." Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland

This time, CA is looking anachronistic once more, though unusually on the liberal side of the spectrum. As Australia contests the 2013 Federal election with draconian measures against refugees a central plank of both major party's platforms, cricket's custodians are pushing an entirely more enlightened view, preaching inclusion and expansion of the kind favoured by earlier Australian governments, rather than stingy immigration rhetoric summed up by the "Stop the Boats" slogan.

Several years ago at the Australian Cricket Conference, CA board members and management were stunned by figures projecting the inexorable decline of the game if they did not engage more fully with an increasingly diverse community. Thus awoken to the urgency of the matter, the game's governors took an approach akin to the immigration minister Arthur Calwell's "populate or perish" mantra in the years after the Second World War.

For all its faults, the Twenty20 evangelism of the Big Bash League has the lofty goal of diversity as central to its objectives. At the same time, the advancement of players like Usman Khawaja, Gurinder Sandhu, Ashton Agar and Fawad towards prominent roles at the top level of the game is an outcome desired by Sutherland, for names like Clarke, Ponting, Hussey and Smith are no longer as representative of Australian people and culture as they once were.

The political manoeuvring undertaken by CA to enable Fawad to be eligible as early as possible in 2013 was criticised in some quarters as either opportunism or tokenism, yet there are other initiatives further down the chain of command that reflect the same goals. On August 28, it was announced that each BBL team would offer two community rookie contracts, described by CA as "part of a wider plan to provide opportunities to players who might not otherwise be identified as one of Australian cricket's pathway programs; players from rural communities, indigenous backgrounds, low socio-economic areas, and those from non-English speaking backgrounds".

One of the players promoting the community rookie program was Sandhu, as part of a CA marketing contract he was granted in June, alongside Fawad. As Sutherland said at the time: "Part of our real focus at the moment is to grow and diversify our participation base. There are a number of players from different cultural backgrounds who are playing in domestic cricket and I guess there are opportunities to really highlight that and for them to be some sort of inspiration to others in our community to be part of the Australian cricket scene."

These words and their sentiment could not be further removed from those offered by Walters and Campese who, whether knowingly or not, expressed the sorts of monocultural views that have been cropping up an awful lot in the wider dialogue leading up to the Federal election. They were not a million miles removed from the observation of the western Sydney parliamentary candidate Fiona Scott, who said this week that asylum seekers "are a hot topic here because the traffic is overcrowded".

Comments like those offered by Scott, Walters and Campese may be decried for ignorance, exclusivity or any other number of reasons. Yet they are likely to come up more frequently over the next few years. Scott's side of politics are expected to win handsomely on Saturday, and their leader Tony Abbott has pushed for a roll-back of racial discrimination laws on the basis of causing offence.

His argument, made to The Australian last month: "If we are going to be a robust democracy, if we are going to be a strong civil society, if we are going to maintain that great spirit of inquiry, which is the spark that has made our civilisation so strong, then we've got to allow people to say things that are unsayable in polite company. We've got to allow people to think things that are unthinkable in polite company and take their chances in open debate."

Among other planned legislative changes in an Abbott government is the removal of the rights of asylum seekers to ever seek permanent residency or citizenship in Australia. Had CA not intervened in Fawad's case, he would be facing the same uncertain future. To Sutherland, such legislation may mean countless potential Australian cricketers lost. To Walters, Campese, beer companies and politicians, it will more likely mean one less minority to worry about.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by vaidyar on (September 13, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

@Gavin. 1 in all in. Yes. In matters related to cricket. If he refuses to attend training sessions which everyone else does, that's something to make a note of. For sponsorship, if he has an issue with a sponsor and refuses to wear their logo and doesn't get paid those fees it's his choice and not a big deal. I doubt players feel that passionate about VB for him to feel left out. Am sure the same is the case with Nike.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2013, 2:51 GMT)

If it was offered to him and he didnt make the demand he can hardly be made accountable. At the same time I am a Tooheys drinker and hate VB. Could i ask to made exempt because the sponsors product tastes awful and is from a state i hate with a passion? One in all in. I wish him the best in any team he is picked for Australia. That said, putting yourself on the outside doesnt build team harmony let alone spirit. Could an Australian turn down a nike logo cos they employ children in 3rd world countries? I think not. He should fall in line with the team, again: 1 in all in.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

As long as he gets wickets and dries up runs, in short does his job, CA shouldn't care what he wears on his shirt. There is more than one type of Aussie, just as there is more than one type of Kiwi

Posted by SandDragon on (September 10, 2013, 11:51 GMT)

I understand his reasons for not wearing the logo but I do wonder where you draw the line on acceding to player preferences with respect to sponsors. How does the EPL get on with gambling enterprises and brewers sponsoring so many teams? VB are not going to ask for a discount or their money back - they get kudos for being reasonable and flexible with granting his wish for an exemption from the team uniform. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot PR-wise by coming across cheap and petty. I just wish for all this effort, Fawad bowled a bit better.

Posted by wanatawu on (September 10, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Funny David Campese tells Fawad to go home, doesn't he live in South Africa now. I heard he was suspended by the tv station in South Africa, but this is a very tricky issue. It is causing a president, last year in a one day with Castle lager sponsoring SA team I noticed Amla, Tahir, Parnell and Farhaan Behardien all didn't wear the logo. I think this will chase big money away cose you count be the sponsor when half of the team doesn't wanna wear it.

Posted by da_fighter on (September 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Dosent Hashim Amla does the same thing? He SAC has allowed him to play without the beer logo and i havent heard a peep about that.

Posted by BigINDFan on (September 9, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

Kudos to CA for fast tracking Fawad since Aus does need quality spinners to be competitive. If VB wants a discount CA can pay them, after all they went to lengths to have him in the team.While it is good argument whether it makes sense to make exceptions for certain players but on the other hand, players should have a choice. Fawad did not market a rival company but chose not to market at all. So what?

Here is a suggestion - put a big Aus flag on Fawad's uniform in place of the VB logo.

Posted by H_Z_O on (September 9, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

@dwblurb on (September 7, 2013, 3:44 GMT) Trott came here at 21 to play County Cricket because he felt it would make him a better cricketer. He was already well on his way to playing Test cricket for South Africa. His Under-19 teammates Graeme Smith and Jaques Rudolph both received Test call-ups later that year.

The fact is, he fell in love with the country and decided to settle here. Regardless of the reasons why Fawad fled to Australia, his decision to represent them at international level comes from the exact same place as Trott's; an affection for the country.

You need to separate the issue of citizenship with representing the country; they're not the same. Neither Fawad nor Trott came to their adoptive countries with the intention to play international cricket. Both, as citizens, have the right to do so, but equally have the right to decline. Both chose to do so out of an affinity for their adoptive country.

Mercenaries may not get much love, but neither do hypocrites.

Posted by ARad on (September 9, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

In an interview on this website this week, Peter Pollock says "we give far too much credence to sportsmen and what they think." Amen!

Posted by   on (September 9, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Lots of people saying "what if this happened, would Ahmed be happy?". But the fact is it was Cricket Australia who came to him first and raised the question of the VB logo and offered to have it removed. I think Fawad Ahmed would have played with the VB logo if Cricket Australia had not brought the issue up. Ahmed has not demanded anything from CA - it is CA who is bending over backwards for him.

Posted by MikeHulme on (September 9, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

There is a different question the Fawad-sponsorship question raises: on what grounds are cricketers entitled to request exemption from sponsorship deals and advertising? Fawad exempts because he is tee-total for his religious beliefs. What if a cricketer objects to a sponsorship deal with a company who invests in/promotes coal, oil and gas interests because of their political commitment to reducing global warming (or because their religious conviction that the planet should not be polluted?). Or from a company who are implicated in the arms business, or exploiting slave factory labour? It is only religious convictions that count - all religions? - or is it all personal beliefs that should count? The Fawad case opens the way for cricketers, other sports people, to make an ethical stand on business practices they disagree with. We haven't seen the end of this.

Posted by baseball_sucks on (September 9, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Good to see Aus finally expanding their search for players overseas - England have been raiding South Africa for decent batsmen for decades

Posted by   on (September 9, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

i am totally disagree with Canpese's and Walter's comments..every persons ve some rights to respect their religion in their own way..so its his choice, well done fawad.

Posted by boltfromheaven on (September 9, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

So, as an Aussie who could play in the IPL, I take it he will not wear the uniforms for any team that would require him to wear the 'Kingfisher' logo. If he wants to be an Australian test player and an International player in the worlds top cricket league he has to wear the sponsors' logos. I for one, do not wish to see alcohol and tobacco advertising in sport but if its allowed in Australia and you want to play for Australia, then do all that it takes. Not just bits of it that suits you. If I was VB, I would ask for a 10% discount effective immediately on all payments to Cricket Australia.

Posted by Bulldocker on (September 9, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Perhaps Doug Walters forgets teammates from his younger days such as Brian Booth that campaigned against alcohol sponsorship and playing cricket on Sundays. Whist not agreeing with them, I certainly don't remember them being subject to abuse. They were given due respect. Meanwhile,have Doug and Daniel Brettig overlooked the WACA dropping alcohol sponsorship? I can't remember a positive comment from David Campese since he retired. I'd rather remember his great playing skills

Posted by   on (September 9, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Actually, from a marketing point of view, it's good for the sponsor as well. The incident has stirred a discussion and led to word of mouth,people are now really noticing the logo that was already there for quite some time.

Also, when the viewers will see that one jersey is different than others, they will instinctively start looking for the missing element. So, the sponsor will get better attention thus more visibility here.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (September 9, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

All this begs the question of why a national side has sponsors logos at all. Do our nations have no pride? Do the players represent country or sponsor.

I don't drink but I am an atheist. Would I be allowed to say no to the sponsors?

Posted by sweetspot on (September 9, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

The harder part is how far anybody can carry this sort of personalization in a team sport. What if half the team has the sort of discomfort Fawad has? Would the sponsor be blamed for cutting down sponsorship by 50%? And then what if something irreplaceable, like the ball, carried a beer company's logo?

Surely, there can be beer companies buying TV spots to support the broadcast. Would Fawad be happily left out of those revenues in the right proportion in his contract or salary from CA? Surely he can give them a discount too.

What if an iconic photograph of him were to emerge - a momentous exultation or something - with a beer company image in the background? Would he rather not have that picture published? How far can we take this preferential aspect of the business side of modern day cricket?

Posted by milepost on (September 9, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

Canpese's and Walter's comments were foul and especially embarrassing as an Australian living abroad. I get to see the picture of Australia that is painted by the press from outside the fishbowl and the sad part is that Australia is a very welcoming place (and I have a lot to compare it to having lived in many countries). For these high profile people to tell an Australian citizen to 'go home' is gutting. An earlier comment about parental links shows the ignorance of some when it comes to matters of citizenship. Fawad is an Aussie.

Posted by Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (September 9, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

As a staunch labour voter and a supporter of open immigration I to am very disappointed in Abbots plans, but it is a separate issue to the story at hand, very opportunistic journalism.

Posted by TwoCents on (September 9, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Based on what I have seen to-date, I think Fawad can be a fixture in the Aus side - he has good control and temperament. Not wanting to draw a target on my back, but I believe tolerance goes both ways - wearing the sponsors' logo is not demeaning/degrading and should be non-negotiable.

Posted by bobagorof on (September 9, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

For those complaining that Fawad Ahmed shouldn't be in the team, let's look at his record. In the most recent Sheffield Shield, he played 3 matches and took 16 wickets at 28.37. Other spin bowlers like Hauritz (7 matches, 15 wickets at 40.26), Agar (5 matches, 19 wickets at 28.42), Lyon (5 matches, 7 wickets at 71.42), Maxwell (3 matches, 7 wickets at 25.42), Doherty (4 matches, 2 wickets at 80) and Beer (4 matches, 8 wickets at 46.37) had less impressive seasons (Agar's was comparable). In fact, the only spinner to do substantially better was O'Keefe, with 9 matches, 24 wickets at 22.20. Ahmed's overall record is decent too, with 56 wickets at 31.44 from 18 matches - better than all but Agar (who has only just started) and O'Keefe. Considering that Agar has already been given a Test cap, and O'Keefe continues to be ignored for reasons no-one will express, Fawad is logically the next in line.

Posted by Amith_S on (September 9, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

@cricmatters i respect your views, having grown up in Sydney my kids also play in the junior compeitions but how about the example set by Khawaja and Lisa who despite practicing their religions are also playing without any rules being changed to accomdoate their faiths.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (September 9, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

"Part of our real focus at the moment is to grow and diversify our participation base. There are a number of players from different cultural backgrounds who are playing in domestic cricket and I guess there are opportunities to really highlight that and for them to be some sort of inspiration to others in our community to be part of the Australian cricket scene. I know that CA isn't interested in opposing views, much like the AFL.. To say "names like Clarke, Ponting, Hussey and Smith are no longer as representative of Australian people and culture as they once were." is inflammatory to all Australians. We don't need some social engineer like Sutherland to tell us to accept Zoehrer, Campese, Khawaja, Anasta or Tuqiri. They have made our Rep sides on merit and we cheer them for their ability and dedication to their particular Aussie side. Makes you sceptical if the best players are picked.

Posted by mondotv on (September 9, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

More words devoted to the "controversy" than to Fawad's actual cricket. I love Dougie Walters, but his time has passed - his views aren't surprising and its pretty disappointing that it made the papers or this site. It is hardly front page news - more like a sidenote and a sad reflection on "journalism". We've already banned tobacco sponsorship and I reckon it is only a matter of time before alcohol sponsorship of televised sport is banned as well. Amla and Ahmed are just ahead of the curve..Dougie just a fraction behind.

Posted by rust01 on (September 9, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

Paul Rone-Clarke, FFL and other English questioning his right to play for Australia, you cannot compare Peiterson to Fawad as they are totally different cases. Peiterson, Trott and others went to England specifically to play cricket for England, whereas Fawad came here as a political refugee to escape persecution in Pakistan. You guys are really clutching at straws trying to compare them. On another note, as an Aussie I totally respect his right to not wear the logo, and Walters and Campese are just has beens still looking for some limelight.

Posted by TATTUs on (September 9, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

The first question should have been whether or not Fawad Ahmed as a cricketer, solely, is eligible to play for current Australia cricket team and not whether he drinks bear or not. In my view he is not. He does not have that kind of ability from as little as we have seen of him.

To dissertate about other wider issues would not be appropriate considering the above question. But still, if a society starts allowing outsiders. theres a limit to it currently. As long as the outsiders are on the fringes everything will go on as smooth as possible. But once the 'outsiders' start gaining prominence and prove a competition to the 'insiders', then the problem of insecurity creeps in. People have to realise that there is no such thing as 'outsiders' or 'insiders' and that everyone is a part of life on earth. This part of our animal instinct is yet to be reforged into human characteristics.

Posted by Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (September 9, 2013, 1:07 GMT)

As an Australian I think campeses comments are disgraceful and so were those comments made on social media. But some comments on here are just as disgraceful.

Posted by MinusZero on (September 8, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

I dont really care if he wears it or not. Is anyone actually able to see these small logos on their uniforms anyway? I dont agree with his selection anyway, because the government changed laws to rush his citizenship through basically so he could be selected. What about the other thousands of people waiting months for their applications to be processed? Maybe those waiting need to take up cricket, apparently thats a qualification for fast processing now.

Posted by David_Boon on (September 8, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

My only question is, does he get paid the same as all the other players? Because the breweries are paying a huge chunk of his salary. The TV companies pay a huge chunk, and the Lionel Ritchie beer commercial is on every second ad break.

The simple fact is that breweries support the game, he should wear the logo. No one is making him drink the actual beer.

Posted by manishwa on (September 8, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

Wonder who should be really the ones going "home"...

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

I have no problems with him not wearing the vb logo. It's only a sponsor. I would only have an issue if he refused to wear the Australian coat of arms and the baggy green as they are the important things on the uniform. Those are the things that say he is an Australian cricketer. A sponsor's logo means nothing except dollars.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

I am delighted that CA and Sutherland have sprung to the defence of Fawad and rejected the comments of sporting legends. Sadly Walters and Campese are my heroes. Brettig is wrong to suggest that "Australian cricket finds itself out of step with wider society" in coming to the defence of Fawad. Campese's 'go home' comment is not representative of 'wider society' by any means. It is only representative of the likes of Pauline Hanson. However I think there should be room in our society to hear and debate the point Walters is making without it being labelled racist.

Posted by Andre2 on (September 8, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

In my country (France), all advertising for alcoholic beverages are banned for sport events on French soils. Like advertising for tobacco brands have been banned for all sport events ...

Posted by Twenny-Twenny-Knight on (September 8, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

If he actually refuses the portion of payments from VB then there isn't a major problem; doubt he will though - convenient double standards. He was well aware that VB were sponsors of the Australian team before committing himself and therefore in my opinion should have made his choice then, rather than seek special treatment after the event. There is no place for religion in sport, it causes enough trouble elsewhere in our lives...

Posted by pmaya on (September 8, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

This is not about Australia, but about a sponsor and a player's right in supporting them. Its not like the absence of the 'Coat of Arms', but the VB (sponsors) logo. Do we care about what Campese or Doug Walters thinks? They were great sportsmen in their own rights, but this is NOT about the sport nor about 'representing' the country. All of you who seem to want to link VB with being 'Australian', please... the country is much more than that. Sure I too like a beer or two, but that doesn't make me more Australian than someone who doesn't. Apparently Sir Don Bradman was a teetotaler. Imagine the Don refusing to back the VB logo. un-Australian ? Yah right! Lets stop these divisive, anti-immigration rhetoric creeping into the game. Aussie cricket does not have a great history in this regard. So hats off to the CA and VB. The guy is now Australian, so get over it. Lets welcome him and support the kid so that he helps us win the ashes.

Posted by Sarfin on (September 8, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Also I don't think we should advise Fawad on religious issues, like 'don't drink but wear logo'. Because in his religion, being part of alcohol advertising is also prohibited.

Posted by WC96QF on (September 8, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

Aus can do what they want with their own team. but purely for cricketing reasons, did Fawad really deserve to be on the team ? brings back sour memories of Zola Budd being fast tracked into England's Olympic team. If he was not yet ready for the big time, why is CA trying to make a political statement ? Secondly, any person entering a team has to fulfill team commitments. Personal beliefs are to be left at home. Inclusion has to work both ways. Somebody getting exemption from team commitment is the inverse of inclusion; not fair and not to be encouraged, in my view.

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 8, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

if VB don't have a problem with it then there is no problem. if VB did have a problem with (rightly so in my opinion) then fawad either wears the logo or doesn't play end of story. having said that, campo's comments are horrendous and I hope he was joking. walters has a point that fawad doesn't want to be sponsored by VB then he should not be paid by them and that creates other issues of payment. then there is the other issue of why cant someone in the test team refuse to be sponsored by comm bank because they don't like banks?

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (September 8, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

Well said Flemingmitch, agree fully mate

Posted by scarab666 on (September 8, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Its time we cleaned out CA and remove James Sutherland for starters. Australia's decline in performance over the last few years is a direct reflection of CA poor performance in managing cricket as a whole, exemplified by the fast tracking of a foreign national at the expense of our own talent. VB sponsorship is not really the issue but Fawad's disrespect to the Australian culture, a country that he has pledged allegiance to......albeit done in a very shoddy manner. On another note.....he's not that great a spin bowler anyway.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

this controversy sure must have been triggered by VB itself for better social media brand building

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

VB sponsors CA and both don't have an issue so let it be as it is and keep fingers crossed for fawad to keep performing well and live up to the trust CA has on his game Play well fawad

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (September 8, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

@Mary786 fantastic summary, i think we all wish him well but fawad would do well to follow in Khawaja's example, a muslim cricketer who having grown up in Australia is a non drinker but plays within the sponsor guidelines of the team and the culture of the team. Sure if Fawad still wants to take the banner off then like Amla he can forgo the payments from that sponsor as well but i don't see that happening. If he did forgo the payments no one would have an issue.

Posted by MohsinBallack on (September 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

well done fawad all muslims proud of you

Posted by din7 on (September 8, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

I dont understand whats this fuss allabout....this is a free world people shld have freedom to migrate wherver they want just they shld abide by the law of that country..someday u guys might be in same problem in which he was for which he came to aus...he didnt refuse to wear anythin representin australia, then wheres the problem is...not wearin sponsor logo is fine..the sponsor may not pay him if they want and thats ok..really disappointin to see some aussies like that guy campese (who dont deserve respect) makin racist comments...i too saw many aussies travel to india and i really dont mind it, they can too if they want live in india forever! I love australia and want to visit there, but i fear i'll be welcomed in same manner or will have to face lot of racism, hate crimes as lots of indians are facin there! Would love to hear from some of Aussies! Thanks

Posted by Copernicus on (September 8, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

the xenophobia on display is certainly disappointing, but i feel the biggest issue is that he's been fast-tracked into the team seemingly for Cricket Australia to prove a political point. his numbers really don't justify the rush for selection and he should be given another year or two to prove himself at Shield level.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (September 8, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

What disturbs me more than the obscure comments of two former Aus sports players are the many comments here that use their extreme views to make generic denunciations of Australia and Australians. Australia has a very healthy multi-cultural society. You will always find a diversity of views on any given subject. Millhouse 79, for example uses this to call Australia "primitive and uninclusive". Would such views be permitted about India or Pakistan on this site? My wife is Chinese, and finds Australia to be the most friendly and welcoming country that she had ever been. I find it sad that cricinfo will not publish views like mine, while permitting well-known anti-Aust posters to freely voice their bigotry here. This is indeed a great irony, given that Ahmed is freely permitted to play for Aus& make a stand for his beliefs. This article is also written by an Australian. Or is this too obvious to perceive?

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

So all players should be ask to approve each sponsor personally before they play.why does he get special treatment just because he claims rediculous religious beliefs.

Posted by JethroCanuck on (September 8, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

Wayne Parnell also does not wear the (sponsor's) Castle Lager logo on his SA kit like Hashim Amla, this is their choice and can be for any reason, no one has ever had an issue with that or even noticed. Why make an issue with Fawad, these are professional cricketers and have every right to exercise their preferences if it is accepted by their boards. We should respect their preferences like we would expect others to respect ours.

Posted by Mary_786 on (September 8, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

Cultural values are fluidic and changes over time. THey change because cultures aren't sacred, they are open to scrutiny. A principle of most liberal democracy is that all values and beliefs are open to debate and discussion and whether they are culturally entrenched whether in our own community or another community not should not be exempted from that. Australia is a country through the lack of laws banning alcohol advertisement approves the freedom of company to choose to promote alcohol.Cricket australia political stance supports the continuation of alcohol promotion by accepting Alcohol sponsorship. Given our laws allow alcohol sponsorship Fawad should have followed Khawaja's example in that he doesn't drink yet plays within the same rules all other players do.

Posted by Chris_P on (September 8, 2013, 0:34 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke. Unlike Pieterson, Fawad was seeking political asylum, the reasons are well documented, suffice to say his life was in peril, a somewhat different circumstance to others. Having said that, IMHO, he has been fast tracked into the national side ahead of other better credentialed players, so it has been a bias, of sorts, against more worthy contenders. I can't recall Khawaja having issues wearing logos, what makes this guy so precious?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

South Africa's Hashim Amla refused to wear the beer brand sponsor brand on his logo on his kit too. What is the big fuss??? Australia are out of sorts if they were in form they wouldnt be causing such a big woo haa about it. Respect to this man following his belief

Posted by zing.houdini on (September 7, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

Why is this still an issue..? From all reports, its been sorted between CA and the player, which is all that matters. Its got nothing to do with what Doug Walters or anyone else feels on this issue.

Posted by Biggus on (September 7, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

@Hammad Siddiqi:-If you don't know who Doug Walters is you don't know much about Australian cricket, as he's one of the most loved cricketers of our past. Nevertheless, no-one said he was any sort of a philosopher and his opinions on this issue are a bit silly, but sometimes you get that from people who are getting a little old. Sometimes you get silly comments from younger people as well, yes? This is a storm in a teacup and we as Australians can both love Doug Walters for the joy he has brought us as a cricketer AND think he's made a bit of a dill of himself over this issue, if he really talked as reported. Since he was a known joker it's hard to know exactly what he meant if you were not there, and the comment may well have been somewhat tongue in cheek. Either way, none of this has any real bearing on Fawad and the logos. He can not wear the logos and we'll still support him. A lot of the comments here seem uninformed about Australia and our attitudes.

Posted by swervin on (September 7, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

it may be in a few years time that VB (or other alcohol companies) are no longer allowed to sponsor sport (anyway) in aust just like tobacco - there is a good argument for that too...and as the world gets more global it is becoming academic where people are born anyway...and nationalism in sport should become less important - arguably over time you will just have each country just pay for whoever they want to play for them.....for non-Australians I just say Campese specializes in saying stupid things so he is hardly any kind of barometer - from an Australian cricket's fans perspective I am very proud about the more multicultural look of the team because aust is a multicultural country and it is one of the things that makes a country great and more interesting

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

Doug Walters who? Exactly.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

First one thing need to understand that promoting of logo is Conditional or Optional. If its Conditional then Fawad should not to be part of any financial advantages & if its optional then what is use of any discussion.

Posted by yujilop on (September 7, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

As much as advertising is necessary for the success of a brand, it should not have to interfere with core personal beliefs. As long as Fawad is willing to wear the Australian jersey with the cricket logo and stand proud when the flag waves, he should have a right to represent the national cricket team.

Yes, sponsors pay for a lot of cricket boards' expenses. But that financial reality alone should not be used to undermine someone's personal beliefs. If a legitimate compromise can be reached, it should be. Publicly respecting others' viewpoints can actually increase a brand's value.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

The issue is a guy with ZERO links being fast tracked to play for Oz. No family links what-so-ever. No qualification period (well a few weeks) Pietersen - who we have been hammered by aussie fans for years about has an English mother and spent 4 years qualifying! How come Fawad just turns up with no connections, no qualification period and just plays? Makes a mockery of Oz fans previous taunts. England might have a selection policy in line with a global employment market with sensible restrictions and checks. Aussies have a "turn up, and if you bring your own boots you can play next week - no questions asked " policy it seems. Shocking!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

@512fm It does not matter where Fawad Ahmed was born as many athletes were born in one country and represented another in their chosen sport. His decision is based on his religion just like Amla's was. If all parties are happy then why are people like you complaining

Posted by khurrambhai on (September 7, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

What if he is selected for VB series, that whole series is sponsored by VB.

Posted by spinkingKK on (September 7, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

I genuinely appreciate CA for allowing Fawad to follow his beliefs and still let him be a part of the team. That is how you prove that Australia is tolerant of other religions. Only thing is, they have to give same kind of respect to all other religious beliefs. Not just Islam for any apparent reasons.

Posted by Its_only_a_sports on (September 7, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

I wont be surprised if we find out that this particular sponsor is behind this hate-campaign. Like someone said earlier, the name of the sponsor will stick in ppl mind when they read about this controversy. Its all about publicity now a days, morals don't come into picture.

Posted by AlanHull on (September 7, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

If any player doesn't want to wear the team strip irrespective of who he is or what religion he is he should be left out of the team. If not players will be thinking up all sorts of excuses to get out of wearing some sponsors logo. Allowing him special treatment from the rest of the team is contrary to CA's statement of being "inclusive" as it is in fact being "exclusive". The belief in some invisible non-existent entity should not allow you special privileges

Posted by cnksnk on (September 7, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Fawad si certainly entitled to his religious beliefs and if CA and the sponsors are ok with this then the matter should rest there. Comparision with Amla is not similar as South Africa has more than half a million folks who belong to the Islamic faith and constitute close to 1.5% of the population. Australia does not have such a large number of folks from other faiths including Islam. However the issue is touchy. Some of the people who follow the Islamic faith also do not believe in the conventional banks as giving money for interest is also against their beliefs. Hence we find the concept of Islamic banks in various parts of the world. Next time if a cricketer indicates that he does not want to wear the logo of a Bank will the reaction of the cricket board and the sponsor be the same. Liquor is considered taboo and hence the current crisis may be justified for some people. Where does one draw the line...

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

I think it's fine. And let's face it. VB is rubbish anyway - I think that's good enough reason to refuse to wear the logo.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

hardly surprising that some Australians dont want a pakistani born player to play for their nation.its their nation, they dont want foreigners to earn "their nation's" money.hoping fawad is deported back to his birth country. but on the other hand aus have experimented with dozen spinners since warne and now they have to resort to overrated spinners like fawad from other countries. he is useless bowler as I have seen his bowling.just hype nothing else.i give him 6 months before curtains to his"australian" career.once best in world, now australia is reduced to average team who list 7 tests in a row and winless for months now.they have to even amend their immigration policies to lure average spinners from foteign countries.i dont see this ending well for them in near future.

Posted by Haleos on (September 7, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

@jalebi_bai - well said. Just like politics, religion should not be mixed with sports. Why do you want to look different from your team mates? Already too much of religion is shwon on cricket grounds after every small achivement by players.Where does it end?

Posted by lala_fan on (September 7, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

tobacco is not advertised at cricket,why should alcohol be allowed??????

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

This is so silly. Fawad is not against wearing Aussie colours. He doesn't want to wear the sponsors' emblem. Big, obvious difference. If the corporate sponsorship changed into something non-alcoholic tomorrow, he would have no problems wearing the logo as well.Why is something so simple so hard for people to digest?

Posted by bonaku on (September 7, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

For many years Sachin didn't endorse any alcohol brands.(I don't remember exactly if he did during IPL1 though). It is wrong to balm one person just because the principle came out of religion. If it is nice thing, why not do it.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Good on Fawad. He deserves to be commended. Beer is not sacred but someones conscience is. He has taken the risk of non selection and was willing to pay that price so I wholeheartedly respect his stand!

Posted by 512fm on (September 7, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

People need to stop bringing up Amla, its completely different as he is actually born in South Africa. I'm a fan of Fawad but I can understand some Australians not feeling great about the whole thing as his residency was first fast tracked through and now this. Maybe CA should have a deal where they cut his salary by a percentage or something, as the sponsors are extremely important in todays game.

Posted by kanagsrat on (September 7, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

Hang on, whats the issue? Ahmed didnt patronise CA with any outlandish demands, CA came to him, ahmed said he would prefer not to wear the logo, sponsors have no problem, so whats the issue?

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (September 7, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

Perhaps this situation raises the real issue, why is a beer company allowed to promote on team uniforms and Cricket Australia? Isn't it hypocritical to match alcohol with professional sport, putting unhealthy and healthy together? That is why cigarette companies were banned. Perhaps Fawad is doing us all a favour.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

There could be a case where a sportsperson could refuse to wear the logo of a sponsor who is repugnant to her/him. Every sportsperson should have this right, and should exercise it more often. There are many companies promoting/sponsoring cricket (especially in the subcontinent) whose business ethics are very dodgy indeed. I would love to see an Indian player refuse to wear their logos, but given the amount of money at stake this is about as likely to happen as France playing cricket.

Posted by Rooto on (September 7, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

A fine article which puts this storm in a pint glass into the wider Australian perspective.

Those on the conservative side of the argument need to understand that CA's aims in promoting cricket amongst other communities is actually promoting a vision of a cricket-playing nation that they would recognise and support.

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (September 7, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

I don't see what the problem is, and I can't believe Walters has it all wrong. Fawad does want to wear the 'Team' gear, just not the sponsors logo.There is a huge difference. We all talk about the Baggy Green, that's the tradition, the players of the past and their fighting spirit. Nobody cares which logo is on the shirt! Fawad has signed up for the real tradition of playing for Australia, and is giving his all to play for his new country. He is working, become a part of the community in club cricket, state and now national. What more do you want from a new arrival? He's joining in and being Australian, except for one little beer logo. How about standing up for someone who's willing to be our mate? So what if he'll only ever drink club soda at the bbq - who cares, at least he's willing to be there!

Posted by mican on (September 7, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

While it is naïve to expect that sport and politics should not mix is it too much to ask, Daniel, that sport and your politics should not mix?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Mahority of the comments of readers here are justifiably expressing their indignation to what certain sections of Aussie society seems to think about the personal choices of Fawad Alam.

As much as I agree that Alam should be able to do what he wants to do, I also understand the other point of view. As much as Fawad has a right to not to wear a logo, others also have a right to their opinion. Disagree with either of those if you may, but find a way to co-exist. That's what mature societies do, and that's what the world needs.

Posted by JethroCanuck on (September 7, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

If you read the article, CA ASKED Fawad if he would be comfortable with the sponsor logo - Fawad PREFERRED not to wear it. CA respected his preference and their system allows for this choice.

One should respect his beliefs and preferences. Hashim Amla does not wear the (sponsor) Castle Lager logo on his SA kit but did anyone notice that WAYNE PARNELL from South Africa does not wear the Castle Lager logo either on his SA kit, for a couple of years now, that is his preference and it is respected by the SA board, no one ever raised any objections with him. No one probably even noticed.

These are professional cricketers and this issue is between them and their respective boards if they both have no issues and we know that the quality of cricket is surely not affected by it, then what's all the hue and cry about. Get on with the game.

Posted by Sal2 on (September 7, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

This is not an issue. Just respec his religious belief

Posted by salazar555 on (September 7, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

I'm in favour of him getting a pay cut of the amount the sponsor contributes to the team wages, if he doesn't want to wear the company logo then he shouldn't be getting the money they put into it.

Posted by salazar555 on (September 7, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

Only been in the team 5 minutes and already dictating what he will and won't do. He knew what uniform was worn by Australia so should accept wearing it or not play. I don't recall Khawaja having a problem wearing it. There's no 'I' in team, I think he should be trying to fit in, not demanding special treatment. No one is asking him to drink the stuff, just wear a T shirt and jumper with a logo on it. The logo of a company that help pay his wages

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

Among all of the Created, Man was blessed with the best of intelligence. Yet, we sometimes display the poorest of judgment. CA went out of its way to get this guy to represent Australia, only to run into this issue. It is so sad when some of us to cannot appreciate the culture of others. Is it so difficult to understand why some guys do not smoke or drink? Why some people do not eat meat? Why some players prostrate on the pitch? Why players speak different languages? Why players have different religious beliefs? What difference does it make? To make the national team itself is a great achievement. This alone gives a player the right to choose his life style, providing this life style is decent, honest, respectful, friendly, courteous and professional. Maybe Fawad should have his beard shaved and get drunk every so often and get into fights at bars like some of his other team mates. This guy should be admired for his strong beliefs and for giving up on some extra cash.

Posted by Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on (September 7, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

Well you play for a country whose culture is vastly different from yours, there's definitely going to be a few speed breakers on the road. It's nice that CA have stood by the leggie's side and approached the whole issue with an open mind. Diversity has always had its advocates and critcs; and thankfully advocates have more often than not prevailed -- its the only thing that has prevented mankind from causing its own downfall. Hope this round goes to them too.

On another note, expediting Ahmed's citizenship does not seem right.Though I am not aware of the details of the case, from afar it seems he was meted out special treatment which does not seem fair to other asylum seekers.

Posted by OptimusPrimal on (September 7, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

This is the difference between a truly multicultural society and the one that just in name. There was no "debate" in S.A. when Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir asked not to wear the logo they were uncomfortable with. The S.A. board respected their beliefs and didn't make a fuss out of the issue. On the other hand Australians, who are increasingly being ranked low on social issues, make a big hoopla. I am from Canada and we have one of the best multicultural societies in the world. One thing I've learned from my experience living here is that social cohesion doesn't come by enforcing your views on others but rather by respecting opposite views.

Posted by ultracoach on (September 7, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

Interesting situation. The sponsor is Ok, CA is OK, and the player in question is OK with the situation. So why are so many people upset about this three way agreement between the three? Lets be honest, and do a small test; can anyone close their eyes and recollect the logos on the shirts of every test nation? (No cheating please; No Googling or searching on Cricinfo images). If I was the sponsor I would encourage this situation, this brings in more publicity than all 11 players quietly wearing the sponsors Logo and no one cares to notice it. Good example is "Castle sticks to the mind due 'Amla' situation", now VB will stick many ppl's mind due to this situation. Again Win-Win situation for the three parties involved.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (September 7, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

After living in Australia a few years ago, I can't say that the opinions of Campese and Walters surprise me very much. Added to Lehmann's comments about Asian cricketers, it really highlights how primitive and uninclusive Australia is as a country.

Posted by JohnOfCourse on (September 7, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

This is not about Australia's respect for other cultures, I beleive that most Australians do respect other cultures. This is actually more about one cultures respect for Australia.

Posted by haq33 on (September 7, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

Oh how pathetic. Let him wear the shirt without the logo. So what? Cut the sponsorship royalties from his pay. Fine. He plays for Aus, not a beer company. He wishes to play for Aus, good for him. It is not going to cause the sudden death of cricket or sports in general. And people always express their religion or culture in sports in perfectly innocent ways like turbans, scarves, praying on the pitch or as they enter the pitch, tattoos, hairstyles, dances etc. it is the politically near sighted "secularists" who want us all to turn out like monochrome robots with no variety at all.

Posted by Biggus on (September 7, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

Ok, so it's easy. Fawad doesn't wear the logo and we as a country understand that. I don't have a problem with that. Many of us would be quite happy if they didn't wear any logos at all. I don't see what the big deal is. The sponsors should understand that Fawad obviously can't really wear the logo for personal reasons and we should all be able to live with that. Why is this supposed to be a big deal?

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 7, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

there are two issues here.If he does not want to wear the logo then I agree with this as it is part of his cultural belief.This is a non issue as it is with Hashim Amla. The other point is the beleief that he will be a good cricketer.There seems to be a mad rush in Australia that any leg spinner could be the new Warne.They will end up with a string of players who can't actually do the job.This is like England looking for the new Botham.

As for some of the Aussie comments from sportsmen what do you expect.They do lack depth at times

Posted by DustBowl on (September 7, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

This is all down to organisational need. Fawad was badly wanted by CA, they did all they could via lobbying etc.to get him. Other organisations would do this for profs., engineers etc. Has CA expressed any policy on other less skilled immigrants? This is apparently mirrored by the country at large by the policy of BOTH parties. As in almost every country in the world; all people are equal, some are more equal than others. I suggest the writer is being a little naive in not recognizing reality / $. Big Bash didn't promote diversity per se; they wanted the crowds and $. It was irrelevant who the performers are.

Posted by RFC73 on (September 7, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

Oh what's the fuss? An individual has the right not ot wear a logo surely? I suspect that if he'd been born in Austalia (like Amla who was born in SA) or if it didn't break during the Aussie election campaign it wouldn't have caused any controversy.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (September 7, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@Mary some very good comments, perhaps its time for Fawad to have a quiet chat with Khawaja to understand the best way to deal with these issues.

Posted by NoBallz on (September 7, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

The issue should not be of one's personal or religious beliefs. When Fawad chose to become an Australian citizen, he was accepting Australia and its cultural and historical beliefs. By pulling on the national uniform, he is not personally endorsing the brands it bears. Rather, CA and the national team is endorsing the product. Australian society accepts the consumption and advertising of alcohol products. If you cannot accept a society that does endorse and embrace such attitudes, then you should re-think your desire to live in such a country. The Australian team outfit is exactly that, a TEAM outfit. If you can't accpet that. Then don't be a part of the TEAM.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

While I agree that one should do things accordingly to what one believes in. But I am curious to know where this 'morality' or 'belief' goes when it comes to teams (Even a national team) playing in the tournaments sponsored by the Alcohol makers. Even in IPL one of the major team sponsor is a popular alcohol drink maker in the India and they also sponsor 6 IPL teams. I haven't heard anyone saying 'NO' to wear the jersey with that sponsor name.

Saying 'NO' such things at a bigger level, can also be part of 'promoting' or 'spreading' something which is not relevant to the sport.

Posted by jalebi_bai on (September 7, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

I am a little confused. So this Alam guy is not OK wearing the jersey but is OK with playing for employers who promote the alcohol brand??

Posted by jalebi_bai on (September 7, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

I think the matter should be worked out by CA and Fawad Alam. But it is a shameful how certain communities around the world clamor for being accommodated and respected for their views, but on their part they do nothing to reciprocate. This is precisely what has made the world such an unsafe place.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

A very shame if someone interfere someone religious belives . Fawad done a great job after Hashim Amla and no one can accuse someone religious beliefs good support by Cricket Australia

Posted by MiddlePeg on (September 7, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

@timtamothy I think you'll find that Cricinfo heavily moderate the content of comments posted. @theultimatetruth Where did you get the notion that CA is made of evolved beings?!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

This is unnecessary debate. Its has nothing to do with culture or anything. it is more of financial issue. Amla does it all the time. the best thing is to cut the fees /money which is coming from the sponsor to Fawad. thats the only thing which is the right thing to do. what has this to do with seeking citizenship? Citizenship doesnt say any 1 to become non vegetarian or drink alcohol. same goes with any person working in any company.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Im glad that their is a reference of Hashim Amla here. Well i believe that the CSA let Hashim Amla not wear the logo because he's a great player and no one in that country objects to that. He is a prolific scorer and an inevitable part of the team. If he demands that Dale Steyn grow a beard otherwise he wont play, i bet CSA will ask Dale Steyn to grow one immediately and writers will write how manly Dale's beard is. In Fawad's case, he is pretty much untested and by no way indispensible. Therefore, ppl will talk about his not wearing a logo. Once he gets like 30 wickets in the upcoming Ashes then mark my words, the same ppl will bend over in front of him and point out to the diversity of Aussies. Hence the best bet for Fawad is to perform and send a shut up call to these low life souls.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (September 7, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Fawad and CA have both acted with integrity. The same cannot be said of the media.

There is always both truth and ignorance anywhere in the world. By giving far more space and credence to ignorance than what is justified, the media fails in its responsibility to truthfully inform. This is not an argument for censorship merely media balance.

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (September 7, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

After Matt Hayden, Andrew Symonds and Darren Lehman's former comments about Asian players, this situation is hardly shocking is it?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

Amla doesnt put on the castle lager logo .. did anyone ever hear a sound from South Africa?

Posted by hunain94 on (September 7, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

It is disgrace that how people are targeting him for not wearing jersey with alcoholic logo, people should respect him r own work and Doug Waiters you should do your own work and do not try to ignite the issue......

Posted by chakravarthysurya on (September 7, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

Well if he doesn't want to wear the logo then reduce the fees to be paid to the player proportionately by calculating per cricketer,how much VB sponsored.In schools we are asked to come in uniform dress prescribed to remove any gender or religious bias between the students no matter what color your religions says.So Be like a professional when at work and follow the prescribed rules..No one cares what religion you follow outside your professional life. Don't mix cricket with religion.If CA gives little way to religious expectations then religion will become monster in hampering the functioning of CA in days to come.CA in the name of secularism is setting bad precedent. Rule is Rule and it is same for everyone,then its not called a Rule.

Posted by chakravarthysurya on (September 7, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

Well if he doesn't want to wear the logo then reduce the fees to be paid to the player proportionately by calculating per cricketer,how much VB sponsored.In schools we are asked to come in uniform dress prescribed to remove any gender or religious bias between the students no matter what color your religions says.So Be like a professional when at work and follow the prescribed rules..No one cares what religion you follow outside your professional life. Don't mix cricket with religion.If CA gives little way to religious expectations then religion will become monster in hampering the functioning of CA in days to come.CA in the name of secularism is setting bad precedent. Rule is Rule and it is same for everyone,then its not called a Rule.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

CA & Fawad have no issues then why others are crying out loud. He has denied to wear it with some valid acceptable reasons (acceptable to people with common sense and knowledge). As said by someone here, if any player has a reason to not wear any logo etc, if the reason is acceptable to the board and higher management then they can any day ask for it. I repeat again ACCEPTABLE REASONS. Not just for publicity or personal satisfaction. One lone player not wearing the logo doesn't bring a huge loss to that beer company nor to the board. Chillax guys..!! Take a deep breath, enjoy cricket and ignore non-sense stuff ..!!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

I'm uncomfortable with how Fawad's Australian citizenship was fast tracked in order that he could play for the national side. People complain about the SA born players in the England team, but in the case of KP he has an English mother and had to play county cricket for 4 years before selection! Fawad played for Victoria for less than one season. However, not withstanding Fawad (and any other player) should have the right not to wear a corporate sponsor logo if it is against their religion or values.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Fawad looks like a very good cricketer who could be a real asset to the Australian team. I certainly respect his beliefs in regard to alcohol sponsorship and there should not be a problem in respect of his refusing to wear the logo (but he should also refuse the money like Hashim Amla), The question is: Would a non-religious player be able to refuse to wear the VB logo because of a belief that alcohol is a drug that damages individuals and society? They certainly should be allowed to refuse. Or is this only allowed to religious believers?

Posted by Mary_786 on (September 7, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

Agree with much that you say Amith and Sunil and i also don' think that one person on cultural-religious grounds can be exempted from wearing an advertising logo when that company is covering much of the costs of having that game played and in which he participates If his principles are so strong in that direction then he shouldnt play in that level of sport or fight to have the sponsorship changed. I also think Ahmad should follow Khawaja's example in this, a non drinker as we know but still doesn't ask for any special excemptions as he is an Australian player first and foremost. I am not in favour of alcohol sponsorship and in particular gambling advertising in sport. But I guarantee if I protested I would be given no exemption if I was playing at that level of sport whether at male or female level.

Posted by thegreatwhiteduck on (September 7, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

I have beliefs simiilar to those of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. So I don't respect crazy ideas like the existence of supernature, but I do respect the right of others to believe what they want (so long as those beliefs don't erode the similar rights of others). CA and their sponsors may be content to accommodate Fawad's reluctance to advertise beer while there is only such teetotaller in the team. But would the sponsors continue to sponsor if there were, say, six or eight members of the Australian XI with the same reluctance to advertise beer? And what if another team member refused to advertise, say, Honda cars, because his grandfather was killed by the Japanese during WWII. That would be a firmly-held, albeit irrational, belief. Why should religious beliefs have this special status in our society?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Once upon a time "Benson & Hedges" were sponsors of Australian cricket... if it's OK for Aussies to do away with Benson & Hedges, then why can't another Aussie say no to VB? Why is it so hard to understand that for Fawad and about 2 Billion other people believe Alcohol is worse than tobacco!

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (September 7, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

@EdwardAnderson i would also suggest that Ahmad follow Khawaja's example in how to handle this, He can learn from Khawaja that you can refrain from drinking while fitting in with the sponsorship of the team, the guys who pay your salary, what's next a refrain from Commonwealth bank sponsorship because interest is not allowed, we need to draw a line somewhere.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

You know what , this discussion can go round and round . The underlying fact is that people from the sub- continent are increasingly emigrating to english speaking cricket playing countries and taking their love of cricket ( and their children) with them . Native English speakers are happy playing Football, Aussie Rules football ,rugby and other sports. Just look at nations like USA, Canada , Hong Kong , Singapore , this is the future. Eventually cigarette and alcohol companies will give up sponsoring cricket because there will be more and more cases like this !

Posted by Ray24 on (September 7, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

When you cannot drink and drive safely, I guess you cannot drink and play either! Just like tobacco was banned from most sports, alcohol should be the next for sport authorities. We cannot have double standards when it comes to money through these sponsors - NO TO TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL IN SPORTS. What you do after work is your business.

Posted by Playfair on (September 7, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

I have nothing against Fawad Ahmed as a player but these sponsors pay good money to have their brands advertised and in doing so, directly or indirectly, CA are able to pay their players. By not wanting to wear their logos, is Fawad willing to forgo his wages? Just recently a Newcastle United player refused to wear his kit for similar religious reasons, a loan shark brand it was but the chap had to renege on his objection because he was caught exiting a casino ..

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

i dont know a single Aust sports fan who has ever given a hoot about sports logos of any sort. as long fawad wears the green and gold with distinction who cares?

Posted by ultracoach on (September 7, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

This whole issue is a non-issue. All those who criticize the decisionsof CA, The Sponsor and the player could be motivated by some hidden agenda. The player does not wear the logo. The Sponsor has agreed to it, the employer (CA) has agreed, then whats the problem? If it is not a Win-Win situation for all three parties involved then this wouldnt have happened. Outsiders have no say in the issue. They can use the issue as a platform to launch other campaigns.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (September 7, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Interesting times in Australian Politics and Aussie cricket. Both for a change moving in completely opposite ways.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

At least he did not ask for the australian logo to be removed too ! But let's face his decision might have been for health reasons and nobody would argue about it !

Posted by sad00007 on (September 7, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Amla, Parnell dont take the same paycheck as other players, since he does not wear the logos, therefore Fawad should also not get the same paycheck. Thats justice and fairness!

Posted by stormy16 on (September 7, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

The real issue here is this is more of a sign of the total lack of talent in Aus that has led to this. For example, forget Warne, but if someone like McGill was around we wouldn't be having this debate. Now Fawad is in surely there needs to be respect for his religion and for crying out aloud - this is a beer sponsor NOT health food sponsor. Not very long ago cigarette sponsors were common in sport but the world has moved on. I think comments to the effect of "If you don't like it go back" are just shallow and non-value adding comments. CA has accepted Fawad for what he is and really it doesn't matter what Campesie or anyone else thinks.

Posted by st6374 on (September 7, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Someone in the comments said that" What if Watson doesn't don the C.A. shirt because he thinks that the Commonwealth Bank (sponsor) charges too much interest" To that guy I would like to say, sometimes you have to use your commonsense. There is no such thing as SPORTSMANSHIP in any sporting rule book but you still see people demonstrate it, don't you? There is no rule that says that you have to be kind to others or help a disabled person cross the street. But you do it because you want to and are a genuinely good person. Well C.A. could have said no to Fawad. They could have told him to take it or leave it. But C.A. demonstrated rationality and common sense. And for those who think otherwise there are always people like Doug Walters and Campese.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

@ Baundele what is your position to declare that Islam does not forbid wearing Kits bearing a Beer logo. Drinking alcohol is forbidden, not wearing a simple logo; Are you an Islamic scholar or a mufti?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

I personally appreciate CA's approach to respect Fawad Ahmed's religious belief just in the same way South Africa cricket shows Hasim Amla. CA even convinced both ruling and opposition party to approve Fawad's citizenship. Fawad is no more a Pakistani,he too is an Aussie now.

Easy approach to solve this problem: I heard that Hasim Amla pays some $500 for not wearing the logo of beer brand. So, CA can arrange such arrangement for Fawad Ahmed too. I am sure Fawad will accept any reasonable amount per match. so, VB won't have anything to say. I don't know if VB itself has complained about it or not. I think VB is getting more coverage for Fawad not wearing their logo!!!

Posted by golgoal on (September 7, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

@ DylanBrah "Good on him, choosing his beliefs over a VB logo." Yes but the point is that his wishes have been respected and he has been allowed to choose. Would your views be respected and would you be allowed to choose if you were in Fawad's home country Pakistan? I highly highly doubt it. We are unfortunately living in a world where the wind only blows one way.

Posted by AltafPatel on (September 7, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

That's not new to cricket. Amla also had been following so for years. That's only hype created by Media. If logo owner of the company doesn't have issue, what people has objection whose interest should only be cricket, not internal matter of it.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

I think CA will save its team the way they are trying to diversify. Fawad's decision not wear the logo, is extremely personal and must be respected. And @ajeshNaik, I am sure these words did not come from an intelligent guy, your comments are extremely biased. I think you don't look at players' record who come new to cricket. He is the best spinner Australia currently have. And I am sure your biased comment is interfered by indo-pak politics. We are tired of all the dirty politics, keep them out when even thinking of cricket.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (September 7, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Like it or not, I'm not sure that it matters. There are 10 other players wearing the sponsor's logo, isn't that enough?

It's not even as if we'll be seeing much of the front of his shirt anyway, he's a bowler and not the world's greatest batsman/fielder: most of the time he's in the action the TV will be showing pictures of his back anyway.

Scottish athlete Eric Liddell declined to run on Sundays and while that was nearly a century ago. it points to a time where people were respected a little more as individuals and not as property. Fawad Ahmed deserves better, he's just arrived in Australia after being threatened for his actions elsewhere. It's just plain stupid to denigrate him for this.

The furore has given the sponsor far more publicity than they would otherwise have got. All they need to do now is release a statement saying that they respect the bloke's views and it's fine by them, and I reckon they'll sell a hell of a lot more product than by making him wear the logo.

Posted by tinysteelorchestra on (September 7, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

I'm not sure I agree with the article suggesting that CA are being more enlightened and inclusive; one could argue they simply desperately wanted a potential champion spin bowler. Surely that's self-interest, not enlightenment?

Posted by tinysteelorchestra on (September 7, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

In principle, fair enough that Fawad Ahmed shouldn't have to wear a VB logo if it offends his religious beliefs. But surely that kind of tolerance should extend across the board... people in England have gotten into trouble at work for wearing a cross around their neck. What concerns me is one rule for one religion and a different one for others.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

for people who dont know...every religion has certain things prohibited, similarly alcohol is an extreme sin and strictly prohibited (haram) in ISLAM... therefore any alcohol company logo or income generated from that co is also haram (i guess its very simple to understand)...

Posted by PK_dilli on (September 7, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Tomorrow he may refuse to stand next to advertisement of beers, Cigarettes etc. in the ground, then what Clarke will do? Being liberal and tolerant to others belief is good but isn't it double standard that he is part of cricket board whose a part of income comes from these company. This is an invitation to anarchy in cricket Australia which itself have million problems to solve

Posted by bhaudin_65 on (September 7, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

Dear Australians and others!! Look at South Africa and learn from them!!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

Applause and admiration to the CA and Sutherland for this great stand they took for a national player. Point 1: The advertising logo is "you" promoting an object. He can't be hypocritical by hating the object himself and yet be asking others to have it. The logo is more than just a label on a shirt. It is promotion of the product. If Watson hates a certain product or If some other player had an alcohol abusing father, he has every right not to put on the label. It isn't even about religious beliefs. Of course there will be pay cuts and that's fair. Amla doesn't receive the same amount as his teammates. yet look at his commitment. Pt 2: Give and Take. You give him freedom of action/belief, he gives you whole hearted performances. Pt 3: To those very few Australians who are going for parentage as a matter of selection, a player's commitment is all that matters. Pt 4: I'm a Pakistani and i don't mind him playing against my Pakistan team. I'd respect him as a player and an Aussie!

Posted by Mirthman on (September 7, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

Totally against CA's decision to permit Fawad to play without the Logo. How can one be a part of the team if you refuse to conform to the team agreement? in this case the Logo which all others have to display. Warnie recently commented his objections to Steve Waugh's rule of wearing the Baggy green in the 1st hour of the Test match but he wore it as it was agreed by the team. He respected the team and the captain. Is Fawad such a great talent that CA has gone out of it's way to fast track him into the team at the expense of other local lads? His very modest returns so far in international matches don't suggest so.Only time will tell. But that still doesn't justify CA's decision.

Posted by coolitbaby on (September 7, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

@Rohit Ramesh Excellent points. People of a certain country like to scream the slogan "politics should not be mixed with sports". How about "religion should not be mixed with sports"? Amazing how people would twist logic to suit their arguments.

Posted by rashivkd on (September 7, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

The guys whoever raising the question against the decision of Fawad should remember this all started from where Aus lacked special talent in spin department. CA desperately searching for a leggy, and even their rules had been changed for this man, and why not his personal preferance is taking into consider?? For an extent, CA wants to play him more than his desire to play for Aus. Like SA did, you can ask him to deduct a compensation to the company from his salary, and the rest is none of these drinkers business.

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (September 7, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

Apparently the attitude taken by those who don't like Fawad's choice is that "this is a free country and you are free to do as we tell you to"! So much for freedom! Also Fawad has refused to wear a sponsor's logo. I thought it is the money of these very sponsors which is killing the game? So any opposition to that is good, isn't it? Also I think the cricketer has not said he has a problem wearing the Australian logo which should make him sufficiently Australian? Or thats where the skin or religion comes in?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

This guy is not like the best of the best, for Cricket Australia to bend backwards and make him eligible. What are they trying to prove? and to whom? There is a world out there which does not really care about what CA thinks. The fact is they have been foolish and have admitted that Australia does not have a line of talent and that they would resort to things like this to shore up the talent pool. Pretty sad! And now they have given a 'nobody' a chance at glory through unlikely means and he is the only guy laughing!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

Hashim Amla did the same when he refused to wear Castle Lager logo, but arguably this did not get blown up as much because South Africa, despite it's troubled past, has become more racially tolerant, or maybe because Amla is a much bigger name. Now if Fawad Ahmed had asked his team mates not to wear the beer logo, it'd have been preposterous, but ofcourse, he has not asked for it; the no-alcohol rule applies to him only, and it needs to be respected. It is not a world of black and white that we live in, there are many shades and colors ... and this is exactly why humans have exceptions to rules. Salam/ Peace ...

Posted by Salmon89 on (September 7, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

Few comments raise the point that there seems to be have no comment from the sponsor VB. They are probably sitting back loving all the talk about the VB log, or its absence. In my opinion the sponsor is getting value for money from the talk about the logo NOT being worn. I think Fawad is entitled to his opinion and would probably be willing to forgoe money from VB, as Hashim Amla has done with the SA sponsor. If CA, VB & Fawad are happy, then while everyone has a right to their opinion (and a right to voice it) it really isn't anyone else's business.

Posted by AusieBangaleeShameem on (September 7, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

I feel sad seeing UN-AUSTRALIAN attitude from some great AUSTRALIAN players like Doug Walters and Campese. People talking rubbish here please don't forget this is a great nation where personal & religious beliefs are well-respected and all your comments are being trashed instantly by the Australian public. I feel proud to be an Aussie. Cheers mates!!!

Posted by landl47 on (September 7, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

I would assume that Fawad, like Hashim Amla, is not hypocritical about this and is not accepting money generated from the sponsorship of the brewing company. Provided that's the case, then surely deeply-held beliefs can be accepted without civilization crashing down. I am a vegetarian and am strongly opposed to smoking. I would not wear anything promoting meat products or cigarettes and I would not accept money from any company in those lines of business. Equally, however, I would not seek to impose my views on others and there's nothing to indicate that Fawad has attempted to do anything of that sort.

The debate should be about whether he's good enough to play for Australia, not what commercial logos he wears while doing so.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

@vatsap you try to take the moral high ground and then make an ignorant generalisation about Australian culture. If you judge any country by its lowest common denominator you'll get a poor impression of the country. The negative comments about Fawad come from uneducated people and don't represent the views of Australians on the whole. (And before someone makes a snide remark about Australians being uneducated have a look at our education index (part of the HDI), which is one of the highest in the world)

Posted by dwblurb on (September 7, 2013, 3:44 GMT)


"he does not have parentage links to Australia and so I'm afraid I don't think he should be playing for Australia"

What on earth do parentage links have to do with an immigrant becoming a citizen of a particular country? He is an Australian citizen, he can play for the national team. Even if he wasn't, he woudl now have qualified under ICC qualification rules.

"If he does his entire career would be tapered as a result"

What does that even mean?

"At least Pitersen (sic) and Trott do have English parentage ... Don't those critics look silly now eh?"

Er, no. Most of the criticism about Pietersen and to a lesser extent Trott were not to do with their right to play for England, but the fact that it was purely and simply a commercial decision. Merceneries never get much love.

Posted by ragavant on (September 7, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

This is a joke.....its time Aussies embrace diversity. In 20years I expect the Aussie team to be full of different names. Caucasian Australians have to realise that things are changing, just like soccer and now like Rugby and comments like Walters and Campese are unhelpful.

What happened to freedom of expression? Ahmed is a citizen and has much right to express an opinion as Walters or Campese. Just because he has a different belief and a migrant means he cannot express his opinion? Good on Sutherland to stand up for Ahmed.

Having said that, if there is nothing breaking the law or an issue with a sponsor like this, then it is part of the World Ahmad has to accept then religion and commercial matters in the Western World are different to where he has come from. It is a learning he should understanding and also be strong enough to know that a shirt doesn't take away from who he is.

It is a lesson for Australia and Ahmed in general.

Posted by Supercherries on (September 7, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

You really have to understand Aussie culture to see why people would not be happy with Fawad Ahmed decision to not wear the VB logo on his shirt. Having a beer with your mates is very much apart of Aussie life and Cricket life here in Australia.When you choose to settle in another country I believe that you have to buy into all aspects of there culture, I'm not saying for one minute that you need to have a beer but please understand and respect the view of the vast majority of people.You cant have all the good things that come with be granted Australian Citizenship without making some sacrifices yourself.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

for comments @samin columbia No one can compel someone to live to their expectation.And that's what independence means. Same way Fawad can't ask others to live like him.everyone got to live to their preferred lifestyle in this world. for comments @ shane pattava, its not about religion,its about individuality like being remain a vegetarian when most people are non vegetarian.either someone want to have their beard shaved or not its up to them.In every religion there are are always two sides who follow their belief and not following it. An employer cant say to an employee that you must eat non-vegetarian and drink alcohol as per company policies and procedures its against independence.its the same here.Sutherland's comment"CA does not condone racism in any way, shape or form. CA is fully supportive of Fawad's personal beliefs and he is a valued and popular member of the Australian cricket team and the wider cricket community" is well said.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

to sane minds, this is non issue. He doesnt want the logo so be it. Amlas kit is customized without the beer logo as well. No one never heard a thing like this from South Africa. This has more to do with the "aliens taking over our jobs" then the beer logo. And kudos to CA for being sensitive to the player.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (September 7, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

@cricket2money and Lewis well said guys.The basic fact is that once you bend rules for one faith, then what about the other faiths which have their restrictions, it should never enter sports. Players like Khawaja and Lisa are role models here because they understand our culture in Australia and make decisions accordingly, Ahmad just hasn't grown up here so it will take him time

Posted by cricpolitics on (September 7, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

Regardless of religious believes every sensible and sensitive person knows that drinking can result in killings of people. This is advertised everywhere in the self acclaimed civil societies of the western world. In Fawad's case what is most likely going to result in killings, his decision not to wear and promote beer, or wear the logo and attract people towards drinking and then potentially causing damage to the society? The choice is for the people who are so adamantly against Fawad's and in general CA's actions. I am glad to see most of the people supporting CA's actions and hopefully that's how the Australian public in general is also thinking.

Posted by EngineerKhan on (September 7, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Totally Rubbish!! If Harbhajan Singh can wear a "Pagri" (which is not an ICC approved head-gear), what is problem with Fawad not wearing the VB logo? Better focus on his performance than these personal issues

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (September 7, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

Well said hyclass, Khawaja is a great example on how this should be handled, and as you guys pointed out once you bend the sponsor rules for one religion it opens up a flood door for other changes.This is just another example of political correctness gone mad. Wear the uniform or don't play - we respect your decision that you can't display the alcohol logo but that is the team sponsor so if you want to play for the team you'll wear it. Simple.

Posted by TheUltimateTruth on (September 7, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

@cricket2Monkey, and @mixters, fair point(s). I presume Fawad would have, or has already, turned down the appropriate fraction of the beer company sponsorship related money, just like Amla has. I feel religious beliefs of this nature are fundamentally different from a preference for one beer over another (and hence requesting to not wear the logo). Nevertheless, the rules are for CA to decide and they have decided they can bend enough to accommodate such a situation. In fact, I am sure even the sponsors were okay too -- they probably are happy for the publicity and the goodwill.

Posted by TheUltimateTruth on (September 7, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

@samincolumbia, he was not granted asylum so he can wear a beer logo. It's a free country and he has the right to do what he wants. If it is against the rules, CA would have told him that he can't play for Australia. They didn't because CA is made of evolved beings.

Posted by cricket2Monkey on (September 7, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

As much as i respect religious beliefs, I do not agree with Fawad's preference of not wearing sponsor's logo. Whether he likes it or not it is a double standard, because he is definitely getting some money indirectly through these sponsors.

As much as cricket australia wants to be liberal in their approach, allowing religious beliefs to come into work place is always trouble.

Posted by mixters on (September 7, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

Could one of the other players opt out of the VB logo because they prefer Fosters? No one is asking him to drink beer but what if he decides he dont like the advertising logo on the ground of the fence? You dont have to drink beer thats your choice and must be respected but a shirt is a shirt and a comic strip is a comic strip it is only offensive if you chose to take it that way.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

well done to both Fawad and the CA. no player should be forced to wear logos that they do not want to wear.

Posted by timtamothy on (September 7, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

I'm so glad to read only one negative comment (samincolumbia), well done Cricinfo readers for being more intelligent and informed than most people on sites like YouTube!

"Fawad should have stayed in Pakistan. Why was he given asylum in the first place? What's next? The rest of the players should not wear beer logos because it would offend Fawad's beliefs."

You clearly do not understand the principle of seeking asylum. If you don't have a place to live you have no life! Why do people like you form such strong opinions when you don't even know anything?!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

its a shame how can he be a player if that kind of words are coming out of his mouth. hashim amla doesn't wear the logo on his shirt but his players and southafrican people respect that due to his belief. been lived in australia i don't think people of australia have that kind of mentality

Posted by DylanBrah on (September 7, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Good on him, choosing his beliefs over a VB logo.

Posted by vatsap on (September 7, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

Pt1: Australia has done a little favor, not a great favour to Fawad. They accelerated his citizenship (similar to what SAF did for the other leggie) so that Cricket Australia would benefit, in their confusion to get a champ spinner after Shane Warne.

Pt2: Doug Walters a true entertainer in his days, but someone who just doesn't care about culture and gives his thought as if he is having a beer with his buddy in the local bar (a la David hookes). Wasn't it Walters who didn't want to get out of the bus to look at the Great Wall and said it was another Wall.

Australian culture inclusive is a real laugh.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 1:36 GMT)

While people's personal views should be respected, it should not be at the expense of a Corporate sponsor who is bank-rolling quite a percentage of your employers expenses. If Shane Watson was offended by the Commonwealth Bank because of their high interest rates, does that mean Cricket Australia would honour his request not to wear their logo on his shirt? This is a potential Pandora's box that we are opening. If Fawad Ahmed is so against the idea of endorsing alcohol, is it hypocritical that he is receiving wages indirectly contributed by VB (CUB)? As an Australian, it is easy to understand the frustration of a new, unproven player where his CA has gone out of their way to get him in the team, to immediately cause a fuss and request the removal of a team sponsor's logo- which no other Australian player has ever done. I don't think religon should be mixed with sports in any way.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (September 7, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

Larger question is, why Australia went for Fawad Ahmed? It is baffling. A very average cricketer, fast tracked into national set up. A disgrace and shame to Australian cricket. What about those spinners who toil hard in Sheffield Shield? What happened to all the spinners who represented Australia in recent past? Why not nurture a home grown talent than placing an asylum seeker on the throne?

Posted by just_chill_chill on (September 7, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

@6pack yes, but please also understand that "embracing diversity" is a two way street. I have had relatives in Dubai and Kuwait being told by random people on the streets that they should not be "wearing such clothes" (the clothes were traditional attires btw) since they don't agree with the local customs. And those doing the policing were ordinary citizens on the street, and not even policemen. Just imagine if random people on streets of Melbourne were to walk up to Fawad and/or his family or someone from his community for that matter and try to do similar things - what kind of storm would it kick up and what the consequences are likely to be. Long story short - it is take and GIVE.

Posted by Windywiper on (September 7, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

These two players were great at there respective sports and brilliant to watch play. It doesn't make there views any less ignorant. Good on cricket Australia.

Posted by Mr_Cricket. on (September 7, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

Not sure why some Australians are complaining about Fawad being an immigrant when in fact most Australians are immigrants themselves. The indigenous population of Australia are in fact the Aboriginal people who have lived there for tens of thousands of years whereas the first settlers arrived around 300 - 400 years ago. As for Fawad and the VB logo logo, he has every right to decline to wear it if it clashes with his religious beliefs - as long as he gives his 100% while playing for Australia, thats all that should matter.

Posted by tamperbay on (September 7, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

I feel ashamed by Walters and Campese. I'm for freedom of speech so I think its good that they say what they think and that its healthy to allow people to discuss this more openly. In this way Walters and Campese will have more opportunity to change their opinion. But jeez, I'm embarrassed by their attitude.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

Since when do people take David Campese seriously?

Posted by Baundele on (September 7, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

Islam does not forbid wearing Kits bearing a Beer logo. Drinking alcohol is forbidden, not wearing a simple logo. It may be anyone's personal choice doing or not doing things; but when such stars do not understand such simple facts, it is always a shame.

Posted by hycIass on (September 7, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

I understand what CA is trying to do, showing that cricket is for the wider community which is great. However i agree with Amith as well, players like Khawaja, Lisa, Gurinder are products of our system and understand our culture and you will never see them make requests like these because they understand the culuture where we live in and the imnportance of mixing in. Mike Whitney said in the news yesterday that as president of Khawaja's former club in NSW khawaja never drank but he didn't ask for the logo to be removed when playing for Australia because its part of their payment structure and guys who have grown up here understand this. I would encourage Ahmad to talk to Khawaja and how he handles playing as a player in this country because he is a very good example. I don't like comments such as go home from Campese but i fully agree with Walters that you have to wear the logos of your sponsors. What's next, not wearing CBA's brand because it has to dowith taking interest

Posted by balajik1968 on (September 7, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

There will always be this type of debate when a society starts becoming more diverse culturally. It will take time for such things to settle down. Let's not go overboard. The taunts were tasteless, but deserve to be ignored. By coming out strongly against it, we may be giving it undeserved publicity.

Posted by Amith_S on (September 7, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

I agree completely Shane, CA and Ahmed are in the wrong here - slippery slope stuff.It is also worth pointing out that Khawaja is a Muslim who was born in Pakistan and doesn't drink who wore the Australian TEAM UNIFORM with a beer logo on it with pride and no objections, perhaps Ahmad should tlak to him on how to best deal with this.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

Daniel, an excellent, thought provoking article that bests a lot of the political commentary here in Australia at the moment. Serious journalism in my eyes, thank you.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

I believe you will find that "australians" are the minority. Just a fact. Proly wanna double check those before puting a large news article old chap.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

i donot think he should be playing for australiabecause he has not played enough matches to prove his credentials in domestic cricket

Posted by Brownly on (September 6, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

I don't even understand how Fawad can be attacked for not wearing a sponsor's logo! It's not like he's turning down wearing Australia's coat of arms. But sadly this is the state of Australia at the moment. I'm glad this article wasn't afraid to get socio/political with the reasons behind Fawad's troubles. Australia has been whipped into a panic frenzy by the media and by politicians. For once I agree with the words of James Sutherland! And perhaps in the future I will still be able to say in cricket circles that I am a proud Australian, even if in others I'm too ashamed.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 6, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge, this will be the first and last time I respond to any of your less-than intellectual comments. Are you so sure about all the sportsmen & women who've represented Great Britain? No parentage links? So no first generation immigrant can ever play for their adoptive country? We probably shouldn't let them vote or pay taxes either. In fact we should probably place them all in forced labour camps. Congratulations on raising your stupidity to new heights.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

As an Australian these comments made against him are disgusting. Good on him for standing up for what he believes and not blindly accepting becoming an advert for whatever company CA takes money from. As for people like Bob Katter saying that if you arent born in Australia you shouldn't play cricket for Aus; it's his job! He has the skills so why not use him in the way that he and Australia can benefit most from.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (September 6, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

Having lived in five different countries, I have to say that Australia is by far the most progressive of those countries when it comes to highlighting and condemning racism. My wife is Asian and finds Australia to be the most friendly and welcoming country she has ever been to, and she has travelled widely in Asia and Europe. What tends to happen is that even the tiniest slip-up by any person instantly becomes front page news in Australia. In many other countries nobody cares. In Ahmed's case the bigger picture is that he has been fast tracked into the Aus team despite largely unimpressive performances, and this is obviously more significant than the odd criticism. And we all know that if a non-Muslim went to play sport in a Muslim country they would not be permitted to choose which social mores to accept, promote or decry.

Posted by stickboy on (September 6, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

@samincolumbia, really, "why was he given asylum in the first place?" This kind of comment exemplifies the kind of ignorance that makes people like walters and campese say what they do in this situation. If you do some research on him (there's a Cricket Australia video about it) you will realise that he had death threats and one of his friends was murdered because of the work they did in women's education. That's why he came here.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (September 6, 2013, 23:38 GMT)

Although Khawaja as a muslim doesn't mind the sponsorship, I'm okay with Fawad not wearing it due to his religious beliefs. For me it is not a big deal. Also the sponsor is fine with the decision. The global community is slowly getting smaller and smaller and we should tolerate all beliefs that promote peace.

Posted by spindizzy on (September 6, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

I'd be more impressed with the argument if it were ethical rather than religious, they're not the same. Cricket administrators own behaviour is hardly a model of morality. Look at the spate of recent scandals at the business level of cricket.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

How depressing. Poor old Fawad Ahmed gets hammered and abused for not feeling comfortable flogging grog? Why is tobacco advertising not allowed but alcohol and gambling allowed?

Unfortunately, not the first embarrassing dinosauric comment from Doug Walters. Read Ashley Mallett's biog of Walters, in the last chapter about his opinions on modern-day cricket. Walters says that players SHOULD NOT be allowed to be excused to attend to their wife giving birth to a child, because they don't get time off for much bigger things, LIKE A BIRTHDAY PARTY. Dreadful l!!!

Posted by ban_one104 on (September 6, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

Where does it stop though? If a player has a drinking problem does he have the right to refuse to wear the beer logo? Or is that not acceptable because it's not based on religious grounds? This article also fails to mention if like Amla, Fawad takes an appropriate pay deduction since he won't wear the logo. If he doesn't want to wear it, that's fine, but it would be the height of hypocrisy to then accept the evil sponsorship money. The point Walters and Campese are trying to make is when in Rome, do as the Romans.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

Well done Daniel, well done James. I shed a tear that Doug Walters is involved with this ignorance.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

It's extremely hurtful to see comments from Doug and David. Mainstream Australia respects religious values and beliefs especially Islam. As a cricket writer I travelled with the Australian team for 18 odd years and socialised with journalist and cricketers, and was never once was ridiculed or laughed at for not sharing a drink. It's a sad day for cricket and respect for one another.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

Fawad Ahman and Hasihm Amla should be respected for what they have chosen to do, and CA and CSA should be lauded for standing behind their players. But I am not sure what would be the stance of cricket boards across the world if someone non-muslim teetotaller wants to refuse logo of alcoholic brand! Would they allow them to do that?

Posted by sunny0412 on (September 6, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

furthur in fawad life if he get success like warne , i think at that time sponsor will regret with the decision allowing fawad, but my personal view religion should be respected and i think CA made right decision. just curious, fawad drinks beer? if so then he should wear it

Posted by MaxG on (September 6, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

Great article. Fawad is a good player and should have his religious beliefs respected. Campese's call for Ahmed to go home is an absolutely disgusting statement, unfortunately it is probably the view of many of my fellow Australians.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

Interesting question. Two of the eight Test-playing countries are predominantly Islamic (Pakistan and Bangladesh) and cricket is popular with the Islamic minorities in India, UK, SA, Australia and NZ. If we're reluctant to show this kind of modest, non-costly respect to all these communities we' re never going to see cricket flourish and will miss a great opportunity to build peace and harmony between our communities. Time we learnt to play nice.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

My request to all the people who support freedom of expression should support the freedom of religious believes in secular world.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

Having said that, Abbott is actually right that in a free country, people must be free to say things that others find objectionable - freedom of speech is highly important as well as allowing Fawad Ahmed to express his very reasonable views on advertising. People should have the right to offend, and cricket is no different.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Fawad is wright he don't have to wear beer logo he is good bowler he will do well for Aussie

Posted by Timbo2530 on (September 6, 2013, 22:42 GMT)

I agree with Doug Walters. It's not about race either. The sponsor pays for the right to display its logo on the team's gear. Is Fawad going to refuse to ride in the team bus if it has a VB logo on it? Where does it end?

What if you get a player who refuses to play on Sundays for religious reasons? Are the games to be re-scheduled?

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 6, 2013, 22:38 GMT)

@samincolumbia - Weak straw man argument. Fawad has made a personal choice. At no point has he sought to impose his beliefs on others.

Posted by rocafo on (September 6, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

The meaning of "Uniform" is:-

1. Always the same, as in character or degree; unvarying. 2. Conforming to one principle, standard, or rule; consistent. 3. Being the same as or consonant with another or others. 4. Unvaried in texture, color, or design.

Get the message!

Posted by BensterV2 on (September 6, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

Campese's comments are a disgrace. Firstly, Ahmed's decision is religiously based, therefore the "go home" attack is pointless and ineffective. Secondly, Muslim's can come from any country as it is a religion, therefore based on belief not country of birth. Ahmed is an Australian citizen, and a promising leg spinner, that Australia have been crying out for since the retirement of Warne. It's sad that so early into his career he is already being critique (not based on his performances but his beliefs and decisions) by an ex-rugby union player with lack of insight and understanding. Hopefully Ahmed can brush these ludicrous statements off and continue to impress on the cricket field. God knows we need it.

Posted by LesB4 on (September 6, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

Highly, emotively written article, which points out a minority of opinions. This is a shame as you are giving them a larger voice. One thing I will say is religion should not come into play at all when sport is involved. Let' take a look at the issue in Pakistan fairly recently - minority of people decided they were right and now the vast majority of cricket loving Pakistanis can not watch their team play live.

Now if you want to get into a finer point of the Koran as I believe. It is directed that eating the meat of pigs is wrong. Yet, as we know KFC sponsor cricket and sell burgers that have bacon as part of the meal. Why do the players continue to play and wear the KFC logo?

Can't have it both ways. Having said who cares if they wear it or not. By simply writing and talking about it VB is getting more publicity. Get on with it and play sport that we all love.

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (September 6, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

So this guy didnt have any problem with wearing beer logo before but now that he got into team suddenly he has a issue with it? May be he just want to create some controversy so people get to know his name. he is not a extra-ordinary bowler. Australia should concentrate on Agar. He has a good future :)

Posted by JSeyder on (September 6, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Well written Brettig, some very important conversations all Australians should be having. It is not about the logo, it is about the badge.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

The guys who are against Fawad should know that it's their country choice to play him. And they should be happy because with him in Australia is a stronger side.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

@Jono Makim: I agree, Walter's comments were very simplistic. Just because Ahmed is an Australian citizen and a cricketer for their team doesn't mean he has no right to express personal concerns over their uniform - and the board chose to accept his proposals. No-one's been forced here into doing anything. I seem to recall Hashim Amla, being a devout Muslim, enquiring SA to remove alcohol advertisements from the team's uniform, and no-one ever accused him of not being South African, did they?

Posted by Cric-101 on (September 6, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

You first go along to get along. By simply wearing a logo doesn't mean you consume or encourage. It simply means you respect the name that pays yours bills. I don't agree with the racial slurs but I definitely don't agree with religion interfering with sport. Sport or cricket as a sport has nothing to do with any religion and the game should be played in the same manner.

Posted by bohurupi on (September 6, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

This is a shame! Fawad has every right not to wear anything that advertise any brand that goes against the norm of his culture and belief. Please be focused on the sports and not on immigration, culture, etc.These are non-issues.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

There is only one thing out of order here and that is the carryings on of Campese and Walters, absolutely pathetic comments.

@Reece Conrad, no one will say it better, the Badge comes before the beer label and I reckon Fawad will be wearing it as proudly as anyone. After everything he has gone through to wear it we should be as proud of him as anyone else that wears it.

Posted by squidhead on (September 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

I'm far from James Sutherland's greatest fan but this time he's got it absolutely right, and as far as Ahmed goes if his employer is happy, and if the sponsors are happy, that really should be the end of it. Where is this outrage coming from? Who does it serve? We don't need it. Great players though they were, we don't have to listen to Walters or Campese when they talk rubbish.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

Unfortunately Walters' and Campese's comments underline the flaws with Australian society especially with regards to an overwhelming ignorance to others' beliefs and origins. When Murali toured Australia, I remember seeing pictures of Australians in the crowd painting their bodies and faces brown with 'chucker' written on their chests. They might as well have had triangular shaped white cloths over their heads and burning crosses in the background. Well done Cricket Australia for defending Fawad Ahmed so vehemently.

Posted by samincolumbia on (September 6, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

Fawad should have stayed in Pakistan. Why was he given asylum in the first place? What's next? The rest of the players should not wear beer logos because it would offend Fawad's beliefs.

Posted by Reececonrad on (September 6, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

The sad thing is that he has had to work very hard, get over unbelievable difficulties to get where is today, he is an icon to all youngsters out there. But these comments by these Australian"greats" shows not matter how hard, how long there will always be those who want to put you down, all you have to do is overcome this and become stronger. Hopefully he will use this as motivation to succeed and prove to those,the badge is more important than the beer label.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

I think it's wonderful that he has found asylum and is playing cricket for Australia.

But why the special treatment for religions? This is not a race issue after all. What if a player decided he didn't like the logo because he had an abusive alcoholic father, would he be given special sanction?

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

How disgusting! I followed a similar dispute with Cisse of Newcastle United with "WONGA" on his team's shirt. I know sponsors should be visible because they have helped the team or country, but it doesn't mean they should be flaunted all the time. Beer isn't advertised in France and I don't hear of people making a hoo-ha over that! Just because one cricketer doesn't feel comfortable, doesn't mean he should be singled out for it. Yes, also, there is no 'I' in team, but sometimes, that one person is the difference. Show some respect, it's not the sponsor that matters, it's the person behind it. Just because I'm an Englander, doesn't mean I can't encourage Australia, so does that mean I can't wear an Australian flag or similar if they are playing someone else in sport?! I don't think that's right. We have a duty of looking after our own, don't take it personally and appreciate their needs. If the roles were reversed, you would be upset. I politely disagree Doug Walters. I hate any racism.

Posted by H_Z_O on (September 6, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

The crucial part is Cricket Australia asked Fawad. He didn't kick up a fuss and insist on being treated differently, they tried to be respectful of his beliefs and he simply told them his honest preference. I'd imagine that, like Amla, he's quite happy to do without any money that may come through the sponsorship, because like the logo it wouldn't sit easy with him and his beliefs. So what's the problem?

When you look at why Fawad had to flee his own country, and the speed with which he's taken Australia into his heart, to treat him like this is shambolic. I'd gladly take him; after Kerrigan's debut and Panesar's "indiscretion", we could use another spinner!

Posted by 6pack on (September 6, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

Tremendously powerful article. Captures the troubling times we live in, even as progressive communities make headway in embracing diversity.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

Well written piece. Personally i feel that Australia is not a place where immigrants will be fleeing in large numbers after a few years. The reason is that unless you open your minds to other people and understand them, opening your gates means less, if anything. I have many Aussie mates and they are nice people in general. But one thing is for certain, Australia is no USA and may never be.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 6, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

I have nothing against Fawad Ahed as a player or a person but he does not have parentage links to Australia and so I'm afraid I don't think he should be playing for Australia. If he does his entire career would be tapered as a result. At least Pitersen and Trott do have English parentage. And to think of all those petty insults that were thrown by certain qauters over England's decision to include those two. Don't those critics look silly now eh?

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.

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