KFC renews support for beleaguered Cricket SA
JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa, facing pressure from various angles over its continuing financial and administrative problems, was able to bask in some good news on Wednesday with fast food company Kentucky Fried Chicken renewing it’s backing of the sport for five years.
KFC will continue to be the main title sponsor of the Proteas in the T20 format, while the company also retains the naming rights for the Mini-Cricket programme.
Mini-cricket has been one of bedrock elements of Cricket SA’s development programme, and KFC have enhanced it in recent years with a schools competition it has started that includes kids getting to play with and against some of the Proteas players.
South African cricket is yet to feel the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sport was extremely lucky that the government’s lockdown came at a time when the season was due to end. The international portion of the 2019/20 season - the major money-spinner for the sport - had already concluded by the time the lockdown was enforced meaning there weren’t any significant financial implications.
However that is certain to change as the country and the world emerges from various restrictions, with South Africa’s economy set to suffer just as financial markets are struggling globally.
Cricket SA was already in trouble largely of its own creation with the administrative drama that enveloped the organisation last summer, causing sponsors - already few on the ground - to hesitate in providing support, while in the case of Standard Bank, the main sponsor of the men’s team in the Test and ODI formats, abandoning the sport completely.
So KFC’s renewal of its contract for the men’s T20 team for five years and the mini-cricket programme for three, is a hugely important show of support. “We are aware, more than ever, that sport remains a major contributor to economic and social development in this beautiful country,” said KFC South Africa’s chief marketing officer, Dhruv Paul.
“We continue to be proud of the partnership with one of South Africa’s most loved sports. In this next chapter, we look forward to continuing the growth of one of the biggest sporting grassroots development programmes, partnering with our Proteas team and their fans at T20 International matches and supporting national cricket at the highest level.”
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) June 9, 2020
We stand together against racism. pic.twitter.com/Cs81AiyZoD
Just this week, Cricket SA was slammed by the players union, the SA Cricketers Association for the slow progress in expediting disciplinary measures against suspended chief executive Thabang Moore. SACA described a “lack of will” on CSA’s part in failing to act against Moroe. Cricket SA claimed later said the delays in instituting disciplinary measures was “regrettable.”
A forensic audit interrogating Moroe’s period in charge at CSA is currently being finalised with the report set to be made public.
“Cricket SA is delighted about this decision by KFC and we are excited for the sport and its development that this strategic partnership with KFC is being extended,” said CSA’s acting chief executive, Dr. Jacques Paul.
“We are particularly excited that our continued association with a strong brand like KFC will further advance the game of cricket and help to unearth new talent for the overall purpose of ensuring the sustainability of our cricket pipeline structures.”@shockerhess