Cricket South Africa (CSA) staved off a nasty wolf at its door after Standard Bank reaffirmed its sponsorship commitment to the embattled federation.
The bank, which helps bankroll the Proteas and some development projects, had called for an urgent meeting with the governing body late on Monday afternoon in “the wake of governance and conduct media reports which have brought the name of cricket into disrepute”.
While corporate governance at CSA has been in the spotlight for some time, relevant stakeholders were pushed into action after five journalists – including The Citizen’s Ken Borland – had their accreditation to stadium events revoked on the basis that they contributed to, as CSA noted in an official statement, “unmediated attacks” on the federation.
The move was widely condemned.
However, following a “productive meeting” between CSA and one of its few major sponsors, Standard Bank proclaimed that it’s “reasonably satisfied” with how “remedial actions” will take place to “address stakeholders’ concerns”.
That said, the organisation had hardly been happy up to that point, expressing “its displeasure at the unsatisfactory manner in which CSA had engaged some of its stakeholders on the reported governance issues”.
“As a major sponsor of cricket in South Africa, we believe that we should have been afforded the courtesy to be kept abreast of these developments within CSA, and not to hear about them from the media in the unfortunate manner that we did,” said Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank Group chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
He added that the bank “acknowledged” CSA’s mission to “urgently implement” its turnaround strategy in terms of the sport’s image and reputation.
But the federation’s efforts in that regard suffered a meaty blow with the resignation of Prof Shirley Zinn.
The well-known business director was one of the independent non-executive directors on CSA’s board, the exact type of impartial influence critics have pleaded for.
Zinn had also served on various committees at the federation too.
Not much information was given regarding the reasons for her departure, though it’s understood that they were related to issues of corporate governance.