Acting Cricket SA CEO Jacques Faul is aiming to restore the confidence in the sport of their financial backers. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU
Acting Cricket SA CEO Jacques Faul is aiming to restore the confidence in the sport of their financial backers. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU

Acting Cricket SA (CSA) CEO Jacques Faul intends to hold urgent discussions with sponsors‚ including Standard Bank‚ in a bid to reassure the sport’s financial backers.

Standard Bank dropped a bombshell last week by announcing they would not renew their contract as sponsors of the senior national team when it ends in April.

Faul‚ who replaced suspended Thabang Moroe at the weekend‚ said he will have to hit the ground running because most corporate companies are closing at the end of the week for the summer holiday.

They have to “engage with current and potential sponsors” because companies close on December 13‚ he said.

“There is not a lot of time but we will engage with Standard Bank, as the sponsorship comes to an end in April 2020.

“They are very experienced and we have to engage them.

“I can’t speak on their behalf but we have to engage with sponsors as a matter of urgency.

“CSA are currently negotiating with sponsors. There is never a time where we don’t engage with sponsors.

Urgent discussions

“That probably will be our first step, to engage with people to say, if the deal is not over the line‚ what will it take to get it over the line?”

Urgent discussions with the SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca)‚ who have called for the entire CSA board to resign‚ are also high on Faul’s agenda.

“We have an idea of key issues, and we need to engage with Graeme Smith and with Saca as a start.

“We have to have a structured plan going and engage with the staff. I have some experience from 2011 and I know how to deal with relationships.

“We are aware of the issues with Saca. Players are key stakeholders and it is concerning when you don’t have a relationship with the players’ association.

“It is also concerning when sponsors come and say we want to meet and you withdraw.

“That was concerning for us from the outside because we are all part of one basket‚ and I think it is well documented that if you don’t get governance right then sponsors withdraw and it filters down to the competitiveness of teams as well.”

The next few months are not going to be easy but Faul is confident they can turn things around.

“We have to believe that we can turn it around‚” he said. “We cannot spend a lot of energy on what’s gone wrong.

“Good business processes start with an audit, and we will be contacting Graeme Smith. It is a process that needs to happen quickly.”