Hutchison 3G Australia is sure to secure the best corporate box seats for this summer's Australian Test series against South Africa and New Zealand.
The 3G (third-generation) subsidiary of ASX-listed Hutchison Telecommunications has signed an endorsement agreement with the Australian Cricket Board to sponsor the ACB Test Series and the Australian Test Team for the next five years.
The move puts Hutchison executives and their best drinking buddies in the "box seat" for corporate baits to all the best attended games.
Hutchison claims the move will promote the release of its 3G wireless services, slated to coincide with the start of the 2002-2003 season. Under the terms of the agreement, Hutchison will have the exclusive rights to mobile wireless communications, including 3G coverage, of all international and national cricket events organised by the ACB. Hutchison will also have naming rights to the Test Series.
However, some cricket fans in contact with Tabloid expressed outrage at the decision, fearing they would not be able to listen to the ABC's radio commentary of the game.
"It just isn't cricket," said Norm "Digger" Adleson, 68, of Adelaide. "So, what they're saying is, I'll have to listen to them on my wireless?"
International cricketing sensation and part-time hooligan Shane Warne did not return Tabloid's phone calls by the time of press. However, an unidentified source from the UK claims to have received several calls at around 2:03am (Eastern Standard Time) from the cricketer.
Other hooligans sponsored by Hutchinson include the Premier League Football in the UK and soccer teams AC Milan, Juventus, and Roma.