Cricket Australia has been accused of censoring an anti-alcohol advert because it conflicts with lucrative sponsorship in the Ryobi Cup.

It's come under fire for knocking back an advertisement that said: "alcohol and sport don't mix."

Fairfax Media reports that the main sponsor of the Western Australian Cricket Association, Healthway, was told to change its ad, with the alternative now reading: "Under 18. No Alcohol. The Safest Choice."

The sponsorship deal between Carlton & United Breweries and Cricket Australia is reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Mike Daube, from the McCusker Centre for Alcohol and Youth, isn't happy.

"This is appalling censorship by Cricket Australia," he told Fairfax.

"Their priorities are clear. They are keen to protect their alcohol sponsors from messages that might offend them but do nothing to stop alcohol promotion that might offend health-promoting sponsors."

However, a Cricket Australia spokesman has told the newspaper that the ad wasn't refused because it conflicted with other sponsors' messages.

He says, instead, Cricket Australia's view is that the relationship between alcohol and sport is one of consumption in moderation.

"We believe Australian cricket has a responsible relationship with alcohol," the spokesman said.

"It is better to engage with the reality that many fans enjoy a responsible drink than it is to turn them off with a prohibition message they don't believe."


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