Standard Bank to end sponsorship of Proteas in 2020

Standard Bank Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Thulani Sibeko said the decision not to renew the sponsorship agreement was not taken lightly.

Members of the Proteas celebrate after their win over Sri Lanka on 28 June 2019 in Durham.  Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank has confirmed that they will end their sponsorship of the Proteas in 2020, in another blow for Cricket South Africa.

In a statement, the banking giant said they informed CSA on Friday morning of the decision: "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. Standard Bank has sponsored the National Cricket Team, and the CSA development program 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. 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 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 that have damaged Standard Bank’s reputation, it has decided not to renew its partnership with CSA. We wish the National Cricket Team well in the years ahead. The Test, ODI and T-20 teams have made South Africans immensely proud over the years and we are grateful to have been a part of their journey,” said Thulani.

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

Meanwhile, CSA spokesperson Thami Mthembu has confirmed reports that three officials have been suspended by the association.

Sports24 revealed on Friday morning that former acting chief financial officer Ziyanda Nkuta has been suspended along with procurement manager Lundi Maja and administrator Dalene Nolan.

In a message to EWN Sport, Mthembu said: "Yes, I can confirm the suspensions and the details of the suspensions will be shared at a press conference tomorrow".

They join independent board directors, Iqbal Khan and Shirley Zinn, on the outs of CSA. The two resigned from their posts this week.

CSA will hold a press conference on Saturday afternoon, to be addressed by President Chris Nenzani and chief executive Thabang Moroe.