Lombard was South Africa’s first and only female cricket CEO, and she represented the country with pride and honour in world cricket.
In 2008, gsport featured Lombard as our November Woman. In an iconic interview, she spoke about her rise up the ladder in the world of cricket administration, the people who she admired and the lessons she learned.
At the time, she said: “I’m a very positive person. I very seldom have negative thoughts. I just love Supersport Park and the team, the Titans team, and to come to work is a blessing. I just drive up, and park right up against the front door, I’ve got lovely gardens, and you just think that you are blessed to do this on a daily basis.
What inspires me the most is that I’ve got people who actually care about where the team goes, what happens at the stadium, and whether you are the cleaner picking up the rubbish, it’s to know that I’ve got a team of workers who really are giving their best, its to always want to develop, not just to be happy with your achievements, it’s to develop the stadium, to know everything’s in place.”
Tributes continue to pour in for Lombard, CEO of both the Northerns Cricket Union and the Easterns’ Titans franchise, who passed away on Women’s Day, 9 August 2012.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) Acting CEO Jacques Faul led the tributes, saying: “This has come as a huge blow to all of us and one that will be felt by the entire CSA family throughout the country.
“On behalf of all the participants and supporters of our wonderful game, I extend our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues.
“During her time in office she turned the Easterns Titans franchise into one of the powerhouses in the land and she contributed enormously to the financial well-being of the game.
Vincent Sinovich, president of the Northerns Cricket Union, commented: “I would like to place on record Elise’s commitment to cricket over the past 32 years, her unwavering dedication and the efficient way she fulfilled her role as CEO, beyond the boundaries of duty. Elise is a great loss to the Union and also to the cricket world.”
Lombard’s friends and colleagues took to twitter to pay tribute to her.
SABC radio cricket commentator Natalie Germanos tweeted: “Absolutely devastated to hear that Northerns Cricket Union CEO Elise Lombard has passed away. One of the most incredible women, big loss RIP”
Proteas media officer Lerato Malekutu tweeted: “Such sad news. Heard that Elise Lombard, Nashua Titans CEO has passed away. Thoughts and prayers with her family and loved ones.”
Cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda tweeted: “Worst news ever this women’s day: Elise Lombard, SA’s only female franchise CEO has passed away. A dear friend and mentor.”
gsport Founder Kass Naidoo summed it up best when she tweeted: “Elise Lombard was the most formidable woman in South African cricket. Cricket will miss her elegance and class.”