Explained: Why has Mohammad Rizwan covered up the Wolf777 News logo on his Multan Sultans jersey?
When Mohammad Rizwan took the field for Multan Sultans in their Pakistan Super League (PSL) qualifier clash against Lahore Qalandars today (March 15), eagle-eyed observers spotted something different – a strip of tape masking a portion of his jersey, on his right breast.
He came out for the toss wearing the altered shirt, and took the field to open the batting in it too.
The tape obscured the logo of Wolf777 News, an online media outlet. Wolf777 is also the name of a gambling company, with the two organisations sharing a logo – gambling is illegal in Pakistan, but betting companies are known to circumvent advertising regulations using news outlets with related names and logos.
Wolf777 News have sponsored Multan Sultans all season, and did so in 2022 as well, with Rizwan not obscuring the logo until today. However gambling-related logos on shirts have been a hot topic in Pakistan cricket recently. Shahid Afridi, currently competing in Legends League Cricket, a competition for retired stars, took the field with tape across his torso to obscure the logo of Lotus 365 News. Lotus365 is a gambling website.
There were reports in the Pakistan media ahead of the game that Rizwan was unhappy about Multan Sultans being sponsored by Wolf777 News, with Dawn News reporter Imran Siddique suggesting there were talks ongoing between Rizwan and Multan Sultans over the jersey.
A statement from Multan Sultans, published on Cricket Pakistan, states: “Wolf777 News is a sports website that is trying to compete on a regional level with other sports news websites. Multan Sultans categorically denies the speculation that Wolf777 News has any connection to betting/gambling nor there are links or tabs on its portal to any betting/gambling website. Our association is with Wolf777News only. As a responsible entity, we are aware of our obligations and will neither be associated with a partner that promotes betting or gambling nor will support such venture.