ECB secures Royal London deal
The ECB has secured a major new sponsorship deal with the news that Royal London, the mutual life and pensions company, will become the chief sponsor of all one-day cricket at international, county and recreational levels from 2014.
The announcement ends months of uncertainty about the securing of sponsorship for the 50-over game, especially at county level where it has been overshadowed by a relaunched Twenty20 tournament which will be played predominantly on Friday nights next season as a summer-long tournament.
The ECB has been committed to simplifying its sponsorship structure in one-day cricket. That has now been achieved, with Royal London sponsoring England's ODIs for men and women over the next four years; the county competition, which reverts from 40 to 50 overs next season; and a national club championship in which the top 256 clubs in the ECB's official leagues will be invited to partake.
There will also be a series of Royal London Junior County Cups, county-based, for boys and girls, from U-13 to U-17 levels.
David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, said: "Our commercial and broadcast deals provide the foundation and long-term stability for our investment in cricket from the playground to Test arena, and this deal is further proof of cricket's popularity in England and Wales.
"The public's appetite for one-day cricket remains extremely high with international sell-outs every summer and the recent success of the ICC Champions Trophy is also testament to the format's strength."
The deal signals the end of a relationship stretching back to 2005 with the previous county one-day sponsors, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank.
NatWest, which has been a major partner for one-day international cricket since 2000, will continue as the sponsor of all T20 cricket in England. Test cricket is backed by Investec and LV= sponsors the County Championship.