June 10, 2010

England cricket

Driving for show

Tariq Engineer

England’s cricketers no longer have to worry about the cars they drive. In a sponsorship deal with Jaguar, 11 of England’s contracted players got to choose a free XF, XK or XJ model. The players who benefited form the deal are James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ryan Sidebottom, Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann. In return, the players will be available to Jaguar for promotional appearances.

The Times reports the younger members of the squad went with the quickest car on offer - the supercharged XKR sports model (starting at $109,700) - while the “family men” went with the roomiest option - the XF saloon model (starting at $43,600).

As part of the deal, Jaguar will also form a strategic partnership with the ECB’s National Cricket Performance Centre. The deal is for four years and replaces the 2008 deal with Volkswagen that supplied the team with Touaregs.

Swann reacted to the news on his Twitter page, saying “Am going to give my mum and dad a lift home from Lord’s. I estimate at least ten ‘slow down son’ and five ‘you’re too close to that car’.”

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Tariq Engineer is a former senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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