Tyre manufacturer MRF has renewed its contract with the International Cricket Council of global partner for the sixth edition of ICC World Twenty-20 India 2016.
Four-year partnership will be valid till ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 ends, covering eight tournaments including an ICC World Twenty-20, as well as an ICC Champions Trophy, the company said.
As a global partner, MRF Ltd will have multiple branding opportunities at all the match venues during the ICC World Twenty-20, this year and future ICC events.
Dave Richardson, ICC chief executive, said MRF is one of the important partners for ICC and it has been associated with the ICC in the past. The company is one of the five partners for ICC and the others include airlines firm Emirates and automajor Nissan.
K M Mammen, chairman and managing director of MRF Ltd, said the association with ICC and the game of cricket presents a great opportunity for brand MRF to reach markets across the world.
Sachin Tendulkar, brand ambassador for MRF, appreciated the contributions of MRF towards cricket, especially through its Pace Foundation. He added, "India will go all the way" in the next world cup cricket tournament.
Responding to a question whether ICC is looking at including cricket as an event in the Olympics, Richardson said the organisation is exploring the opportunity, without affecting the ICC Twenty-20 or other events.
"We are exploring the opportunity. We had a discussion with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in November," he said. The outcome will be discussed in a meeting to be held on February. However, international cricket generate a lot of revenue from ICC event. Before rushing into participating in the event, that cricket in the Olympics probably using a Twenty-20 format, that doesnt devalue the current ICC event, and in particularly the T-20 itself.
He said that it is not easy to get into Olympics and many things including the number of team members are to be considered.
"We are exploring the possibilities and before middle of this year we will be able to give a clearer direction in this regard," he said. He said that inclusion in Olympics would help cricket to penetrate into newer markets, including United States and China.
Asked about the Supreme Court scrutiny on BCCI's style of functioning, he said that any improvement in the governance of any of its member countries has to be welcomed.