Hero MotoCorp, which had a long association with cricket, has withdrawn as sponsors of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) Tuesday.
Hero Motocorp, which had been associated with the Mumbai Indians IPL franchise for the last two editions of the tournament, and with the Delhi Daredevils before that, released a statement on Tuesday informing of their withdrawal.
"We have been associated with cricket for over two decades, and it is not correct to say that we are now moving away from cricket," Hero said in the statement, according to CNN-IBN.
Apart from the IPL, Hero has also sponsored international cricket tournaments such as the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in the past. They continue to be associated with hockey via the recently concluded Hockey India League.
According to CNN-IBN, Hero reportedly signed a four-year deal with the international governing body for hockey, the FIH, and will be sponsoring all the tournaments under the auspices of the FIH.
Hero has also been been involved in golf and is the title sponsor for the Indian Open.
"We at Hero MotoCorp are engaged in promotion of several sports including cricket, golf, hockey and soccer etc. Our decision not to renew our central contract with IPL and with IPL team Mumbai Indians does not in any way dilute our commitment to cricket as a sport. It is the most popular game in the country, and we will continue to remain associated with the game in various forms," the statement said.
Hero is the second big sponsor to withdraw from the IPL in the last few months after DLF quit as the league's title sponsor last year. Soft drink giant PepsiCo replaced DLF for the upcoming sixth edition.
First Published: February 13, 2013, 9:38 am