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South Africa’s Dolphins wager on new title sponsor deal

South African sports betting operator HollywoodBets has opted to upgrade its partnership with the Dolphins domestic cricket franchise by taking on the title sponsorship rights to the team.

The one-season agreement will cover the 2016-17 campaign.

The Durban-based team will now be known as the HollywoodBets Dolphins, in an agreement that signals the end of a five-year partnership with existing title sponsor Sunfoil.

HollywoodBets signed a three-year deal with the team at the start of the 2015-16 season, with the title sponsor arrangement to run throughout the second year of this agreement.

The company becomes the first South African betting operator to title sponsor a franchise sports team. Hollywoodbets media and communications executive, Devin Heffer, said that the company remained “fiercely committed” to upholding the image of the sport and to ensuring that cricket is free of any corrupt practices.

South African cricket has recently found itself at the centre of corruption-related incidents. Four more South African cricketers, including former international player Thami Tsolekile, were last month banned from the sport for conspiring to fix matches in the 2015 edition of domestic Twenty20 competition the T20 Challenge Series.

The quartet were banned by Cricket South Africa, the governing body of the sport in the country, for between seven and 12 years after admitting a series of breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code for Personnel.