Cricket South Africa (CSA) is facing a difficult weekend with a board meeting scheduled for Saturday in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, over the current crisis where more heads are expected to roll.
The federation’s Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe, has been suspended and national team’s main sponsor, Standard Bank, has informed CSA that it will not renew its sponsorship in April next year.
Standard Bank says it has suffered reputation damage from problems CSA is experiencing. Standard Bank’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, Thulani Sibeko, says the bank had no choice.
“Standard Bank has decided not to renew the relationship with CSA which ends at the end of April in 2020. This is because of our concerns of developments that have been visible from CSA which we believe have caused reputational harm both to CSA and Standard Bank.”
Standard Bank’s decision comes just before the beleaguered Cricket South Africa’s special board meeting on Saturday, which has been called after reports of poor corporate governance, fraud and the decision to revoke the accreditation of five seasoned cricket journalists.
This week has already seen three board members resign, and at least three people have been suspended from the CSA’s administrative office. There is less than three weeks to go to the first test against England, and still there is no selection committee and/or management team in place.
Those are two issues expected to be discussed at the board meeting on Saturday. Standard Bank could not stand these shenanigans any longer. Standard Bank has said it is giving CSA adequate notice so that it may explore an alternative title sponsor.
Standard Bank has been a long time sponsor of both the National Cricket Team, and the CSA development programme through the Regional Performance Centres. The non-renewal by the Standard Bank will have a dire impact in the growth and nurturing of new talent in the country.
In the wake of all the mayhem that has engulfed @OfficialCSA recently, Proteas sponsor @StandardBankZA has decided not to renew their contractual agreement past this summer… Group chief Marketing and Communications Officer Thulani Sibeko… @SABCNewsOnline #sabcSport #SabcNews pic.twitter.com/hEZLwzHXWN
— Thando Gqamane (@TlgMadala) December 6, 2019
Sibeko says Standard Bank has been supporting the development of Cricket in South Africa. “We have been involved and committed in supporting cricket not only the Proteas but development programmes as well making sure that young talent over the years come through and becomes the next cricket stars. However, our involvement in cricket is on condition that the reputation of cricket and attributes associated with cricket are the kind that we would love to transfer and associated to our brand. So it was with that difficult consideration that we concluded that the reputation that has been harmed by these developments necessitate that we do not renew the relationship.”
This is bad news for players, fans and other genuine stake holders. The good news is that progress is being made to right all the wrongs and getting rid of the bad apples.
The Chief Executive of CSA, Thabang Moroe, has been placed on precautionary suspension. His suspension with full pay comes after reports from the Social and Ethics and the Audit and Risk Committees.
A forensic audit will now be carried out.