Border cricket must defend status
With a decision pending from the UCB, Border Cricket President, Vido Mgadle, feels strongly that it is not in the interests of the game in the Border region, the Eastern Cape or South Africa as a whole to change the Eastern Cape's administrative centre after only 13 months of operation.
"In our opinion, the franchise has not only been administered properly but is flourishing under the close supervision of Border Cricket," he explained. "We have long-established offices and a faithful complement of competent staff to administer the franchise and the results are being seen on the field."
The Warriors have competed in two of the four domestic finals in the last 13 months, while Mickey Arthur, their coach, was recently named as South Africa's new coach, to succeed Ray Jennings.
The main problem for Border Cricket, is that their main sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, who have been involved with Border Cricket for more than 14 years, is an East London based company and would not continue to support the team if it where to move to Port Elizabeth.
Richard Venn, divisional manager, said "With our C-Class manufacturing plant based in East London it's always been a logical association for Mercedes-Benz to contribute to sport and sport development in the Border region. When the new regional provincial system came into place it made sense for Mercedes-Benz to extend it's sponsorship of the Border team to the new franchise team, The Warriors - particularly in light of franchise administration being overseen by Border Cricket.
"Strategically, however, the Border region and East London must remain the centre of our focus, and we will no longer be in a position to continue with the Warriors franchise sponsorship, the stadium naming rights and the supply of vehicles to the franchise if it is not based in East London," he continues.
Venn did however say that Mercedes-Benz would continue sponsoring the Border Cricket Academy and the Border Cricket Development programme until the sponsorship comes up for review in 2006.