England permitted to boycott Aramco-sponsored player of the match award at women's T20 World Cup

GEORGE DOBELL: The company, officially called the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, was labelled by as "the single greatest contributor to global carbon emissions of any company in the world since 1965"


England women are set to be allowed to boycott the player of the match award at the T20 World Cup.

The Cricketer understands that after some players expressed reservations about the sponsor of the award, the players' union won an agreement that no individual would be obliged to accept it.

At present, the agreement is limited to England players, but it could well be adopted more widely as word of it grows. The tournament takes place in South Africa from February 10.


Aramco sponsored player of the match awards during the men's competition (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The ICC awarded naming rights of the player of the match awards at the men's and women's T20 World Cups to Aramco.

The company, officially called the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, was labelled by The Guardian as "the single greatest contributor to global carbon emissions of any company in the world since 1965".

The majority state-owned company is also closely associated with a Saudi regime which has been accused of human rights abuses including the use of torture.

Player unease with sponsorship deals is a growing phenomenon within the sport. It has been accepted for several years that players whose religious views forbid such alignment, should be allowed to boycott alcohol or gambling sponsorship agreements.


Amin Nasser is the president and CEO of the Saudi Arabian oil company (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Just ahead of the men's T20 World Cup, Australia Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins expressed his reservations over a Cricket Australia sponsorship deal with an energy company Alinta reportedly worth $40 million.

The agreement reached by representatives of England's women's team does not amount to a full boycott and may not even be utilised.

It does, though, mark a significant moment in the sport's development and may be looked upon as another step towards more ethically acceptable agreements. The ICC has recently suspended its partnership with FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, after the company's valuation collapsed.


Australia will defend their T20 crown in South Africa (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

An ICC source suggested that, although it was most unlikely there would be any pressure on players to accept such awards, not doing so could be seen as a snub to the general public.

The player of the match awards don't have the Aramco word or branding printed upon them, with the sponsorship instead aimed at the general public, who are asked to vote on the prize.

Aramco is currently funding research into the environmental footprint of the recent men's T20 World Cup for the ICC. The results may inform future scheduling.

The ECB declined to comment.

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