I’m not taking credit, but…

I’m not saying I influence national sporting organisations, but Cricket Australia will cut ties with Alinta Energy just weeks after I asked them to do so.

On September 9, I wrote an open letter asking Cricket Australia to end its sponsorship deal with Alinta Energy. This will now happen.

I’m not taking credit, but…

Cricket Australia just announced it will extend the 40-million-dollar deal for only one more year, and not for four as originally planned.

I reminded Cricket Australia that fossil fuel companies, such as Alinta Energy, are destroying the planet, and that they are using Australia’s love of sport to ‘sportswash’ and protect their corporate image.

I’d love to take credit, but I think my words had less impact than those of men’s team captain Pat Cummins. Cummins reportedly shared his ethical concerns with Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, concerned that Alinta Energy’s parent company, Pioneer Sail Holdings, is one of the country’s biggest carbon emitters.

Alinta received a dismal 2 out of 5 stars in this year’s Green Electricity Guide, due to their plan to burn coal to 2047, the local environmental harm they cause and their ranking as Australia’s 7th biggest polluter. 

‘More so than ever before you’re seeing players’ personalities and interests and passions shine through and have a bit more of a say than maybe in the past,’ Cummins told Nine Newspapers recently.

‘I’ve got my own personal views so when it comes to personal sponsorships there are some companies I wouldn’t want to align with. When we’re getting money, whether it’s programs for junior cricket, grassroots, things for fans around Australia, I feel a real responsibility that with that, we’re doing on balance what is the right thing.’

Cummins has since been attacked by right-wing media organisations, radio commentator Ben Fordham and One Nation politician Mark Latham – so he must have done something right.

In the open letter, I also reminded Cricket Australia that a sport played in the middle of the Aussie summer is very susceptible to rising temperatures and extreme weather events. Playing any level of cricket in increasingly hot summers is potentially dangerous. Playing cricket during heavy storms is impossible.

How many cricket games, at all levels, will be cancelled in the 2022/23 summer due to extreme rain events?

Now, I’m sure the words of the world’s best fast bowler and national captain are more influential than mine, but…

Image: Cricket Australia


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