Hoardings controversy during Ireland series; an apology from Cricket Ireland

Cricket Ireland (CI) is in a difficult situation as a result of inappropriate gambling-related sexual adverts that appeared during a recent cricket series against India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will also get a letter from CI in response to their regret for the in-stadium hoardings at Malahide, the location of all three games played last month.

A representative for Cricket Ireland said, “We do accept that the associated imagery used by the brands on their websites is not in keeping with the values of Cricket Ireland and we unreservedly apologize for any offense accidentally caused.”

The Irish Times was the source of the initial information about the problem, noting that “One of the companies that had branding visible at the venue, 1xBet, was suspended by the UK Gambling Commission in 2019 after a Sunday Times investigation said that it promoted a “pornhub casino,” which “entices gamblers with topless croupiers.”

After a worried parent and Irish cricket fan in Dublin reported it to Sports Ireland, an Irish sports development organization, the entire incident came to the public’s attention.

“I think my complaint stems from my 30-year devotion to Irish cricket. Additionally, I have a small daughter and have coached youth cricket for 25 years. Rob O’Connor, a Level 3 ECB coach, told Cricbuzz, “I wasn’t comfortable with my daughter being able to check up the sponsors on her phone, or friends, or other girls or boys that I teach, and finding the information on their website, on their Instagram account.

Sports Ireland got in touch with CI in response to this complaint. “Sport Ireland is aware of concerns raised regarding gambling sponsors at the recent cricket series between Ireland and India,” a spokeswoman for the organization informed this website. Cricket Ireland has responded with a statement after discussing the subject with Sport Ireland. Sport Ireland supports Cricket Ireland to make its own money because Cricket Ireland is an independent institution. However, it is crucial to maintain the fundamental principles of sport, such as inclusivity, integrity, respect, excellence, and accountability, while also balancing the need for investment in sport.

Cricket Ireland had sold the stadium’s ground rights to a marketing firm in India, who paid for the opportunity to work with outside sponsors on-field activations such as perimeter signs, on-pitch mats, backgrounds, and the replay screen. Ground rights signage appeared to be a separate issue, even though there were contractual protections in place for sponsorship on team uniforms or event naming rights in accordance with Government/Sport Ireland rules. The agency declined to comment when asked, claiming that Cricket Ireland works with a number of agencies.

Cricket Ireland acknowledged working with Sports Ireland but admitted that the hoardings did not reflect the ideals of Irish sport. “Cricket Ireland accepts and complies with the formal regulations/guidelines of the Irish Government/Sport Ireland regarding sponsorship of sporting events,” it stated on its page. We did spoke to Sport Ireland about the companies that wanted to sponsor the team or the event name, and we asked them for clarity on the presence of betting companies in actual stadiums. Despite this, we acknowledge that the linked imagery used by the brands on their websites is inconsistent with Cricket Ireland’s principles, and we sincerely apologize for any offense we may have unintentionally caused. Cricket Ireland also stated that, out of politeness, they will write to the BCCI.

India prevailed 2-0 in the three-game Twenty International series last month, with one game being a washout.

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