Duminy confident in SA cricket brand despite lack of sponsors

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Veteran Proteas allrounder JP Duminy says that the lack of sponsors for South Africa’s domestic and Test cricket is a concern.

Duminy was confident that new sponsors would be unveiled before the season starts in a few weeks.

Speaking at Newlands where the Cobras unveiled their own sponsors Duminy said: “As a cricket fraternity it is concerning. My belief is that cricket as a brand is quite strong in South Africa and I think it’s just got to be managed well and with that management you’ll find that guys line-up to partner and align themselves with good cricket.”

The Cobras announced partnerships with a number of prominent brands this week and continued their associations with World Sports Betting and PPC cement while in other parts of the country the Dolphins announced continued corporate sponsorship.

Duminy feels that if domestic teams can garner such levels of backing from sponsors that it should be relatively straightforward for Cricket South Africa to strike up new deals.

“We’ve seen it now with the Cape Cobras with the amount of sponsorships that we’ve managed to bring on board and it’s quite exciting to have so many partners and people are willing to invest in us as a franchise,” he said.

“If it’s happening here at a domestic level then there’s no doubt that it will happen in the international stage because that’s ultimately where people love watching cricket.”

Cobras coach Ashwell Prince said that the lack of a sponsor’s for the game nationally was a concern to all stakeholders in South African cricket but also expressed confidence that Cricket South Africa would resolve the crisis.

“At the end of the day CSA announced that they’re close to tying those up and we can only control our environment. Obviously with the three sponsors signed with the Cobras this week, it’s really encouraging,” Prince said at Newlands.

“What happens in terms of the competition sponsors, hopefully CSA will tie things up in the next few days.”

On the international front Duminy is undaunted by the prospect of starting the first full post-AB De Villiers season.

He sees the absence of the superstar as an opportunity rather than placing a burden of responsibility on him as a senior player.

“I don’t think there is more responsibility, I’m more excited about the opportunity,” said Duminy.

“Any batter would like to bat top 3 and top 4 in one-day or T20 cricket, but it’s also understanding the make-up of the team. So if you look back to Sri Lanka, I batted at No 5 for most of the games if I’m playing that is most probably going to be my position.

“In saying that who knows what the future will hold in the next couple of months leading into the World Cup.”

Even though the World Cup looms large in mid-2019 Duminy says he is focused on the upcoming bilateral series against Zimbabwe, Australia and Pakistan.

“I don’t want to put too much emphasis on the World Cup right now, there are couple of tours happening before,” said Duminy.

“I think it’s important to maintain the focus on those tours before we actually put all our emphasis on the World Cup even though it is preparation for it. It’s important for us to gain confidence out of playing well so that’s kind of our main focus right now.”