The ongoing turmoil in Cricket South Africa has cost them their biggest sponsor Momentum. The financial firm has been a part of the white-ball cricket in the country since June 2012. It comes up after Standard Bank stepped away in December last year.
Meanwhile, the decision comes after South Africa’s Olympic body took control of cricket in the country and has also asked Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) board and senior executives – including acting CEO Kugandrie Govender – to step down. The move might also prompt the International Cricket Council (ICC) to bar South Africa from international cricket.
Momentum walks out as title sponsors of South Africa ODI team
A release from Momentum on Tuesday said it would not seek to renew its backing of the national men’s ODI team, the franchise one-day competition, the national club championships, schools’ weeks at under-13, under-15 and under-17 level, and developmental projects when the current contract expires at the end of April next year.
The loss will put Cricket South Africa in a massive debt crisis by the end of 2022.
“Momentum has expressed that they are not satisfied with the current state of affairs at CSA regarding governance and other reputational issues,” the statement said, echoing the firm’s call in December for the resignation of CSA’s board or that of its president and vice-president.
“We will continue our dialogue with CSA to keep them accountable to do the right thing,” the release quoted Carel Bosman, Momentum’s head of sponsorship, as saying. “We all want to see a governing body that is run professionally and ethically, and one that considers all stakeholders to the game,” he added.
However, Momentum will continue to support and lend their name to South Africa’s women’s team. The board members and Olympic Association decided to hold a joint press conference on Thursday but that wasn’t enough to keep Momentum on board.
The company has assured to sponsor the women’s team at least April 2023. The company’s interest has helped CSA offer contracts to 14 women’s players and afford their team a fulltime coaching and support staff.