The iconic ‘Ram Slam’ is no more after the headline sponsors decided not to renew their contract.
This year’s series will go ahead as planned, but it leaves Cricket South Africa searching for a new sponsor for their most lucrative cricket format after four years.
Haroon Lorgat, the CEO of the Cricket South Africa said, that ‘with a new domestic T20 League within our sights, regrettably we were not able to agree on the option to extend our current relationship.’
The Ram Slam came under an unwanted spotlight recently when several players were banned after a match-fixing plot was uncovered.
The cloud of suspicion hovered for eight months after CSA first announced in December they were to charge an ‘intermediary’ with trying to fix matches. The investigation culminated in four players receiving bans of between seven and 12 years in August.
A lot of effort has been expended in trying to raise the profile of the series in the face of stiff competition from the Indian premier League and the Big bash, which attracts big-name stars with massive amounts of cash.
The Ram Slam also tried to bring in big-name players, such as Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle and other high-profile West Indians, but were limited in their ambitions.
Lorgat announced recently that CSA was seeking to expand the competition to make it a global attraction, separating it from the other franchise competitions. If it came to pass, it would come in for the 2017/18 season.
Earlier this season, the Sri Lanka Test series schedule was readjusted so that more Proteas players could take part
‘We’ve seen the competition grow impressively and I must commend Ram for the wonderful innovations they introduced every year,’ said Lorgat. ‘Their energy contributed to us having a great commercial partner and I wish to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of cricket.
‘I am sure we will continue our relationship in another form as Ram are passionate South Africans who wish to continue their involvement in cricket.’