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The Index

Who will sponsor English cricket?

We line up potential investors

Alan Tyers
26-Oct-2012
Donald Trump attends the Comedy Central Roast Of Donald Trump, New York, March 9, 2011

Donald Trump: promises live telecast during contract renewals, and more importantly, axeings  •  Getty Images

The ECB has lost a second sponsor in three months after Brit Insurance opted not to renew their deal. With Friends Life also calling it a day, there are attractive sponsorship opportunities up for grabs in the English game. So would the following organisations be interested?
The Keep Saturday And Sunday Sacred Campaign
Pressure group, a radical offshoot of Christian movement Keep Sunday Special. Believes we should not have any county cricket on the weekend, just in case people with jobs come along and take up all the parking spaces or bring their horrible children.
The BCCI
Opportunity to buy out entire structure of English cricket with money found down back of a BCCI under manager's waiting room sofa could prove tempting. The prospect of insisting that English media companies pay money to visit grounds in England is also appealing. Might be fun to move all county matches to India, just for the hell of it.
Kevin Pietersen
Could do with a PR win, and what better way to show commitment to England cause than by having his name and face emblazoned across front of all other players' jerseys? Sure to ensure a smooth and amicable reintegration into the dressing-room unit.
Donald Trump
Another individual who could use a PR boost in the UK, the Donald has deep pockets and could improve his image from "bullies wee Scottish people" to "offers leg up to beleaguered venerable sport". Given the ECB's previous enthusiasm for American billionaires, should be welcomed with open arms.
Loanshark.com
Always keen to learn from football, has the time now come for cricket to embrace the lessons from the Premier League and take the shirt sponsor shilling from one of those attractive 4572% APR "helping hand until payday" organisations? May require England cricketers to do "special favours" for the sponsors if ECB doesn't deliver on promises.
One of those new fast food manufacturers that everyone is talking about
The ECB has got its youngest and hippest people working on what all the kids are eating these days, and are keen to attract happening food product of the moment, Spam.
O2
Recent problems with users experiencing a loss of service suggest that only by letting this phone company run things can we stop players tweeting for once and for all.
LOCOG
Seem to have cottoned on to a good thing, what with that whole "getting bazillions from the taxpayer" business. Unsold seats are not an unfamiliar problem for domestic matches, so plenty of experience of dealing with PR flak from that. To get Lottery money, English cricket can prove it is already inspiring a generation: the over-85s.
One of those ones that sponsored it before, you know, the bank. Or was it home insurance? Or a building society?
Whatever. There's limitless brand recognition value to being associated with English cricket. Just ask what's their name.
ChildLine
With the culture of bullying that has taken hold in the team becoming a problem, would send a powerful message that it is not fair to pick on someone just because he is South African, richer than you, insufferable etc. Just keep Esther Rantzen at arm's length.