TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
MONEY, not the evil of match-fixing, was the root of Ram Couriers’ decision not to continue to sponsor Cricket SA’s (CSA) franchise T20 competition.
Five players, among them former internationals Gulam Bodi and Thami Tsolekile, have been banned after admitting to trying to manipulate matches in return for illicit cash during last season’s tournament.
That sparked theories that Ram, who backed the event for the past four years and had an option to sign up for two more years, pulled out because they didn’t want their brand tainted by the scandal.
But David Lazarus, Ram’s executive chair, said in an email exchange: “The costs just did not warrant the investment.”
He was satisfied that the match-fixing problems had been “dealt with efficiently by CSA”.
An investigation, lead by David Becker, a former International Cricket Council head of legal, was launched in November and remains ongoing.
Lazarus did not rule out a return to involvement with CSA.
“We wish them every success with the tournament, who knows what the future holds we never burn bridges,” he said.
This year’s edition of the competition is scheduled to start on November 12.
CSA have yet to name a replacement sponsor.