SA cricket franchise appoints woman COO

29 May 2014

South African cricket team the Unlimited Titans have made history by appointing Patricia Kambarami as their new chief operating officer. She is the first woman to hold such a senior position with one of the country’s six professional cricket franchises.

Formerly the marketing and events manager of the Titans, Zimbabwean-born Kambarami will now occupy one of the most demanding positions in South African cricket.

Hot seat

SuperSport Park in Centurion outside Pretoria is one of the country’s favourite cricket grounds, hosting numerous T20, one-day international and test matches, as well as Titans’ games.

A cricket administrator known for her relentless pursuit of excellence and a keen appreciator of team work, Kambarami’s appointment was widely expected.

Titans CEO Jacques Faul hailed Kambarami as a hard-working stalwart of the franchise who, during 11 years as marketing and events manager, has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the Titans’ cause.

‘It is well deserved’

“It is well-deserved,” Faul said in a statement on Wednesday. “I have no doubt she is the perfect person for this new challenge. Patricia is also 100 percent focused on delivery for the sake of the franchise’s continual commercial success.”

In 2003, Kambarami worked as venue assistant for World Sport Nimbus, an organisation that managed the commercial property of the International Cricket Council at the Cricket World Cup in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

When the position of marketing manager at the Titans became available, she successfully applied for the position, starting working in Centurion in October 2003.

Momentum eKasi Challenge

Kambarami was the driving force behind the successful Momentum eKasi Challenge, which brings together The Unlimited Titans and the Bizhub Highveld Lions to play a pre-season match annually over a four-year period, alternating between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

“Certainly the highlight of the past 11 years was the conceptualization and the practical implementation of the Momentum eKasi Challenge. Jacques [Faul] came up with the idea,” Kambarami added.

“I had to put it all together with my right-hand man, Eddie Khoza, and the Momentum team of Charlene Lackay and Emmanuel Mahlangu. It was beautiful.”

‘Team work is essential’

Asked about what has underpinned her success as an administrator, Kambarami said she believes no man or woman is an island. “Team work is essential. You cannot do it on your own.”

Looking ahead, she said: “My focus in my new position … is to retain the world-class status of SuperSport Park.”

Impressive curriculum vitae

Kambarami’s curriculum vitae is the envy of many cricket administrators in South Africa, and it continues to grow. She has an MBA from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, a graduate diploma in marketing management from the Institute of Marketing Management in South Africa, and a certificate in sports events and project management from Wits University’s graduate school of business.

A mother of two boys and a girl, Kambarami is still burning the proverbial midnight oil to finish another degree, a Masters in Sports Law, through the De Montfort University in Leicester. She enrolled in 2013, and hopes to complete the degree in 2016.

SAinfo reporter