South Africa’s ongoing turmoil has meant that Momentum, a financial services firm, has backed out as the sponsors of the ODI team. The company has been a key part of the limited-overs formats in the country from 2012 onwards. Momentum’s decision came after the government in the African nation banned Cricket South Africa (CSA) and took charge of the sport in the country.
Back in December, Standard Bank also ended its 21-year-old association with cricket. On Tuesday, Momentum, through a release, mentioned that it won’t be renewing contracts with the men’s ODI team, the national club championships, the franchise one-day competition at under-13, under-15 and under-17 level, and developmental projects after their contract expires at the end of April 2021.
Momentum to support South Africa women’s team
“Momentum has expressed that they are not satisfied with the current state of affairs at CSA regarding governance and other reputational issues,” the statement read, reported by Cricbuzz.
However, Momentum will continue its association with the women’s team, lending its name and money. The firm started sponsoring the women’s team from 2013 and its contract expires on 2023. 14 of the women’s cricketers have contracts and a fulltime coaching and support staff.
“We will continue our dialogue with CSA to keep them accountable to do the right thing. We all want to see a governing body that is run professionally and ethically, and one that considers all stakeholders to the game,” the release quoted Carel Bosman, Momentum’s head of sponsorship, as saying.
“We have been extraordinarily proud of our role in supporting the advancement of the women’s team and remain committed to that sponsorship agreement. Our continued support… is in line with our brand narrative and we will continue to shine a light on their talent, build their commercial value and enable them on their journey to success,” Bosman added.
Momentum quitting is expected to come as a blow for the men’s team as the players earned 20 per cent of Momentum’s sponsorship fee. There are chances of ICC banning South Africa cricket as government interference doesn’t fall under the ICC guidelines. Zimbabwe and Nepal were also suspended, though they were re-instated as ICC members in October.