ICC relaxes clothing and equipment regulations to permit betting sponsorships, West Indies first team to benefit

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently voted in favour of permitting national teams to sign sponsorship arrangements with betting companies for playing attire and equipment. The relaxation is applicable for ODI and test matches but not for ICC tournaments like World Cups.

From 2005 until the middle of last year, the ICC’s clothing and equipment regulations listed an objective “to prohibit advertising connected with betting and/or gaming.” The revised regulations have removed that objective as reported by the Guardian. The old regulations defined betting logo as any logo which is either perceived, or likely to be perceived, by spectators and viewers, as being associated or connected in some way with betting, gaming or gambling of any kind.

The lifting of ban became inevitable as cash starved member nations like Sri Lanka started promoting gambling logos on their playing kit or as on-field advertising at their home venues in the past few years, especially after Covid19 despite the ban. Few surrogate brands even acted as series sponsors.

The ban on betting companies on uniforms in force since 2001 was a response from the ICC to several major betting scandals that plagued the sport in the 1990s and 2000s. Former South Africa cricket captain Hansie Cronje admitted to match-fixing during a one-day series against India in 2000 and was banned for life while the then Indian cricket captain was banned for life.

Gambling sponsorships have exploded in recent years and Bet365 has had a long partnership with Cricket Australia. But activists see betting brands on shirts – often worn by young supporters – as having negative influence leading to gambling addiction. In English football, Premier League clubs have voted to end shirt sponsorship deals with betting companies from the start of the 2026-27 season.

The West Indies became the first team to benefit from international cricket’s open door for betting companies to sponsor shirts, wearing a Philippines gambling brand on their shoulders in the recently concluded first Test against Australia.