Close on the heels of Chief Executive Officer Thabang Moroe’s suspension, Cricket South Africa has suffered a major financial blow. Their main sponsor Standard Bank has terminated the contract with the cricket administrative body.
Standard Bank on Friday informed Cricket South Africa (CSA) that it will not renew its agreement as the title sponsor of the SA men’s cricket team when it concludes on April 30, 2020.
Standard Bank Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Thulani Sibeko, said the decision not to renew the sponsorship agreement was not taken lightly.
“Standard Bank is committed to upholding the highest levels of leadership, integrity and governance. In light of recent developments at CSA, which are a culmination of long standing problems which have damaged Standard Bank’s reputation, it has decided not to renew its partnership with CSA,” African News Agency has quoted Sibeko as saying.
“We wish the national cricket team well in the years ahead. The Test, ODI and T20 teams have made South Africans immensely proud over the years and we are grateful to have been a part of their journey.”
The latest controversy surrounding CSA came on December 1 as the decision was taken to revoke the accreditations of five cricket journalists covering the Mzansi Super League. The accreditations were later reinstated, but only after a huge public uproar with the damage already done as CSA was seen as trying to ‘silence the media’.
One of the issues CSA failed to handle according to their self-imposed timeline is appointing a new Director of Cricket, after the Cricket World Cup (CWC) which ended in July. CSA CEO Thabang Moroe told SAFM, CSA would make an announcement on the job on November 22, but they missed that deadline.
Former SA Test captain Graeme Smith had been the frontrunner to take up the position. Smith, 38, withdrew his application but is still in ongoing discussions with CSA in connection with the position.
South Africa comes off with one of the worst seasons in their history, losing five matches at the CWC during the group stages and failing to make the semifinals. After the tournament, SA coach Ottis Gibson was sacked by CSA.
Switching to Test cricket, South Africa were thumped 3-0 against hosts India in October with interim coach Enoch Nkwe taking charge of the team.
With the Mzansi Super League currently in full swing and ending on December 16, there will be just 10 days for selectors to decide on the SA team for the first Test against England.
There will be just a two-day Tour match in Benoni starting on December 17 against a SA invitational side, a three-day Tour match also at the same venue against SA A, and one round of the domestic four-day series starting on December 19 for the SA players to find form in the longest format of the game.