September 15, 2004 | The Asian Age

Tatas to withdraw Ganguly, Pathan ads during Trophy

Reacting to the Internatonal Cricket Councils warning handed out to Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and team mate Irfan Pathan over an advertisement that breaches its ambush marketing clause in the ongoing Champions Trophy, Tata Teleservices said in a statement on Tuesday that it would act to safeguard the interests of the two players. "Tata Teleservices Limited will cooperate to enable its brand ambassadors Sourav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan to honour the Participating Nations Agreement (PNA) which governs endorsements and advertisements by players.

TTSL has taken necessary steps to safeguard the interests of its two brand ambassadors by re-positioning the advertisements featuring them for the duration of the ICC Champions Trophy," TTSL vice-president Abdul Khan said in the statement. The ICC had written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India about the breach of the PNA since it is for a company that is a direct competitor of cellular service provider Hutch, which is an ICC partner.

Players are not allowed under the terms of their contracts to endorse products that are in direct conflict with the ICCs official sponsors for a period of 45 days before, during and after an ICC tournament is held. PTI adds: Meanwhile, the marketing agents of Irfan Pathan said that the left-arm paceman had not flouted the ICCs ambush marketing clause and claimed that the ad campaigns featuring the bowler had been withdrawn before the start of the Champions Trophy.

The clarification came from the players manager Lokesh Sharma, who said that, "To the best of our knowledge there are no Irfan Pathans hoardings anywhere in the country. Such unsubstantiated and scurrilous allegations are unfair and can have an adverse effect on the image of Pathan who is not only a disciplined, young, successful cricketer but is also referred to as a role model."