English cricket received a boost on Tuesday when npower announced a three-year extension to their sponsorship deal, taking the contract through to the Ashes in England in 2009.
The deal is believed to be worth around £15 million - the current one is valued at £7 million - and analysts say the increase of 40% in the value reflects the boost in the game's exposure and popularity following last summer's Ashes.
"After the huge profile cricket enjoyed in the summer of 2005, the sport has continued to thrive and we've been delighted to be at the heart of it," Kevin Miles, managing director of npower residential, said. "Our cricket sponsorship has worked fantastically well for us and we're already looking forward to the next three seasons, culminating in the return of the Australians in 2009."
"Since last year's npower Ashes series, cricket has gone from strength to strength," David Collier, the ECB chief executive said. "npower has been a loyal and active investor in our game since 2001 and I am delighted that our partnership with them is to continue."