Sports & Games

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan Refuse Betting Sponsorships

In a recent development, Pakistani cricket sensations Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have reportedly turned down substantial sponsorship offers from betting companies. The duo’s decision is rooted in their commitment to their faith.

Babar Azam, who is celebrated for his exceptional batting skills, was offered a yearly contract worth Rs250 million by a betting company. Similarly, the wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan was approached with a Rs100 million yearly contract offer. However, both players declined these offers, citing that such sponsorships and contracts were against the law.

The rejection of these lucrative offers by Babar and Rizwan has been applauded by many. Their decision is seen as a testament to their integrity and commitment to their values. As Muslims, they do not support any betting or surrogate betting brands. This stance was confirmed by Saya Corporation, the agency responsible for managing Babar Azam’s individual sponsorships, investments, and advertisements.

The issue of betting sponsorships has been a contentious one in the world of cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been criticized for accepting sponsorships from surrogate betting sponsors like Dafa News. This has allegedly led to the proliferation of over 150 illegal surrogate betting sites and apps in Pakistan. Some Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises have also been accused of forcing players to accept shirt logos and give image rights to these illegal betting companies.

In a related incident, Rizwan, who captains the Multan Sultans, refused to display the logo of WOLF777 on his kit during the last Pakistan Super League tournament. This act further highlights the players’ resistance against betting sponsorships.

The PCB’s code of conduct clearly states, “The Services/ Campaign shall not support any activity (commercial or otherwise) associated with betting, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, obscene or sexually explicit language; which advocates the violation of Pakistani law or PCB’s policies”. Despite this, the board has been accused of violating its own rules.

The actions of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan serve as a reminder of the importance of upholding one’s values and principles, even in the face of lucrative offers. Their decision to reject betting sponsorships is a powerful statement against the growing influence of betting companies in the sport of cricket.

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