Company with official South African Cricket account steps in to save its girl team

Omicron, a South African sports management company, has turned into an amateur crisis management giant.

Its immediate involvement began with little fanfare, but it has now become anything but. As scores of current and former players of the women’s cricket team are embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal, Omicron has leapt in to offer its services to the women’s team amid the scandal. This is in a country that does not allow women to play cricket. “Omicron SA will be with the Covid-19 till the end of play,” read a tweet from Omicron SA on Saturday. A couple of hours later, Omicron announced that it was extending its support to the team.

Over the course of the next two days, Omicron is reporting that it has put together a crisis management team for the team, working hand in hand with South African Cricket in an effort to get the team to the semi-finals of the tournament.

“Everything from any aspect – via presentations, outside sources, media, time out, facilities, communications, group meetings… all of these would be provided,” a statement from Omicron read.

On Thursday, the South African cricket board announced that players had complained about being regularly sexually harassed, including being forced to have sex with them or at the player’s house.

Cricket South Africa has since said that it has suspended some of the players following an investigation into the allegation of sexual misconduct.

After Saturday’s statement from Omicron, a further assertion was made of the crisis management response.

“Team management has indicated to us that they do not necessarily need our help, but that as the lead sponsor, and someone that has been at the center of the development in the past four years, we have a huge moral obligation and an important legacy to uphold. That is why we have stepped up and offered to all support to players and officials that the women’s side require to get to the last four,” the statement said.

The stories of alleged sexual misconduct stem from the team being invited to play against a national female volleyball team. However, according to reports, when the squad complained to the coaching staff, they were summoned to a meeting with the Covid-19 team. It was there that they say a series of attempts were made to massage and fondle them.

Cricket South Africa’s interim CEO, Thabang Moroe, has since issued a statement of support for the team. “[South Africa Covid-19] has been around for four years now and over that period of time, I’ve met over 1,000 players. I’ve met about 170 boys, men and girls, in my role as CEO of the South African cricket board. I’ve never seen any instances of this sort of behavior and I hope never to,” Moroe said.

Nonetheless, many are questioning how this could have gone on for so long without being noticed. South Africa Covid-19, a partnership between the Department of Sport and Recreation and SA Cricket, was set up to launch the women’s national cricket team.

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