Proteas Women retain sponsor, but men's team lose support

Financial services provider Momentum has announced it will continue to prop up the national women's cricket team but it has pulled the plug on renewing its sponsorship of men's ODI cricket when the current contract expires in April 2021, in a clear shot across Cricket South Africa's (CSA) bows.

A statement released by public relations firm Fleishman Hillard on Tuesday said: "Momentum has expressed that they are not satisfied with the current state of affairs at CSA regarding governance and other reputational issues".

"We will continue our dialogue with CSA to keep them accountable to do the right thing," Momentum's head of sponsorships Carel Bosman was quoted 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. We wish CSA well as they move forward."

While the move was not unexpected, given the previous concerns Momentum had expressed over the governance issues plaguing CSA, there was likely to be great relief that the Proteas Women's side – a talented outfit that had lifted itself into the upper echelons of the game but desperately needed more support to remain competitive with highly professional teams like Australia and England – would continue to receive the backing of one of cricket's most loyal supporters. That contract was set to run through to April 2023.

"We have been extraordinarily proud of our role in supporting the advancement of the women's team and remain committed to that sponsorship agreement," Bosman said.

"Our continued support of the Momentum Proteas 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."

The announcement was a major blow for the men's game, however, as Momentum had leased its support to just about every level of the pipeline – the U-13, U-15 and U-17 schools weeks, developmental initiatives such as the Momentum Friendship Games, the national club championships, the Momentum One-Day Cup for domestic franchises and all ODIs involving South Africa – since June 2012.

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