Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Beer conflict could have been behind Border's decision

AFP , SYDNEY

A conflict over beer sponsors appears to have been the driving force in Allan Border's decision to stand down from his role as an Australian selector, reports said yesterday.

The former Test captain and prominent cricketing personality recently fronted television advertisements here for XXXX beer, which is a big competitor of Foster's, a major sponsor of Cricket Australia.

Geoff Donohue, corporate affairs spokesman for Foster's, said the XXXX campaign involving Border was little more than ambush marketing.

"We think ambush marketing is fairly un-Australian," Donohue told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. "I guess Allan has [resigned as a national selector] in pursuit of his own commercial interests."

Border, who played 156 Tests and 273 one-day internationals and serves on the Cricket Australia board, was a selector between 1998 and last year before rejoining in June this year.

"My various commitments are far heavier than I had expected back in mid-year and I don't think it is appropriate to do what is a really important job if I am not able to give it the full attention it deserves," Border said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O'Connor said he had accepted Border's decision with regret but respected his decision.

O'Connor said the board would seek views from chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch and from Cricket Australia management before discussing its next steps when it meets at the end of this week.

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