Financial blow as Standard Bank cuts ties as CSA sponsor

Thabang Moroe (Gallo Images)
Thabang Moroe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has received a financial blow with the news that Standard Bank - title sponsors of the men's national Test and ODI side - will not renew their deal with the organisation when it expires at the end of April next year. 

In a statement released on Friday, Standard Bank confirmed the news.

"This morning Standard Bank informed Cricket South Africa (CSA) that it will not renew its agreement as the title sponsor of the South African National Men’s Cricket Team when it concludes on 30 April 2020," the statement read. 

"Standard Bank has sponsored the National Cricket Team, and the CSA development programme through the Regional Performance Centres, for a long period. We are immensely proud of the many milestones reached." 

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," he said. 

"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 statement added:

"Cricket is a national asset valued by millions of South Africans, many of them our clients, and is an integral part of the bank’s heritage. 

"Standard Bank considers it appropriate and fair to give CSA adequate notice so that it may explore alternative sponsorships to replace Standard Bank."

This comes at a time where CSA CEO Thabang Moroe and his leadership have come in for heavy criticism following what has been a disastrous few days for the organisation. 

TIMELINE | CSA's troubled times under Moroe leadership

Also on Thursday, the Central Gauteng Lions Cricket Board called for the resignation of Moroe and the entire CSA board. 

An ongoing legal battle with the South African Cricketers Association (SACA), the suspension of senior officials Clive Eksteen, Corrie van Zyl and Naasei Appiah without any detailed explanation, losing an arbitration hearing against the Western Province Cricket Association after having placed the union under administration and the absence of any permanent staff in charge of the national Proteas just three weeks out from the start of a home Test series against England have all contributed towards a national outcry against the current administration from the cricket fraternity. 

Things reached boiling point over the weekend when Moroe and CSA revoked the accreditation of five local cricket journalists because of how they were covering ongoing events at the organisation. 

That decision was then overturned 24 hours later, but it fuelled criticism from all corners with major sponsors Standard Bank expressing their "grave concern" at CSA's administration. 

Since then, former CSA (previously UCB) bosses Norman Arendse, Ali Bacher and Haroon Lorgat have all publicly criticised the current regime.

A special CSA board meeting has been called for Saturday, where Moroe's future is believed to be hanging in the balance. 

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