Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Pietermaritzburg-based Willowton Group, through its Sunfoil brand, had extended its sponsorship of the Proteas’ home Tests for another four years, Cricket South Africa announced yesterday.
The decision is a welcome relief for embattled CSA, which is still in the process of recovering from a financial scandal involving former CEO Gerald Majola.
Willowton, which also sponsors the Dolphins, began its Test sponsorship last season when it financed the two-Test series against Australia and the three-Test series against Sri Lanka.
The sponsorship will also include the domestic four-day competition – formerly known as the SuperSport Series – that has been sponsored by the TV sports company since 1995/6.
SuperSport will, however, remain CSA’s broadcasting partner.
Brandon Foot, SuperSport’s Head of Acquisitions and Legal said: “SuperSport is very proud to have sponsored the SuperSport Series and to have contributed to this important nursery of Test match cricket.
“As the World of Champions steps aside from this role, SuperSport remains committed to CSA as its production and broadcast partner in all formats of the game, both domestically and internationally.
“SuperSport will also retain its interests in franchise and other cricket in SA.”
CSA is looking forward to its four-year deal with the Willowton Group.
“It is a well known fact that the Willowton Group is heavily committed to SA cricket at grassroots level via its support for development programmes both in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, as well as being title sponsors of the Sunfoil Dolphins franchise,” commented acting CEO Jacques Faul.
“The group is thus now involved in all levels of our cricket right up to the pinnacle of Test match cricket.
“This sponsorship agreement covers no fewer than 18 Test matches against New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Australia, the West Indies and England.”
After coming under severe criticism for jettisoning the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand this summer, CSA is seemingly bending over backwards to promote Test cricket.
Faul added: “I would like to reiterate the importance that CSA attaches to Test match cricket. One only has to look at the individual achievements of the Proteas a week ago when Hashim Amla’s treble century managed to dominate media headlines at a time when London was about to host the world’s biggest sporting festival, the Olympic Games.”