Italian makeover for Indian cricketers

NEW DELHI, July 14, 2006 (AFP) – India’s cricketers could soon be touring in Italian designer suits if a deal goes ahead with Milan-based fashion house Canali, an official said Friday. Canali has bid a handsome amount for the rights to provide jackets, trousers, shirts, ties and shoes for the players, Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said.

“Canali have shown interest and made an offer to us. We have also shown interest,” Shah said. “They make world class clothing and will definitely make our players look smarter.”

If the Indian board accepts Canali’s offer, the Indian stars will don their new suits for the first time at the Champions Trophy tournament at home in October-November.

On the field, the Indian team is kitted out by US giant Nike, who paid 43 million dollars for a five-year deal.

India’s cricket-crazy millions make it the commercial powerhouse that drives world cricket. Five of the six official sponsors of the International Cricket Council are India-specific.