The Sri Lanka Tea Board will be the primary sponsor of the Sri Lanka cricket team in away matches, beginning with the tri-series in the West Indies on June 28, SLC has said. The deal is worth Sri Lankan rupees 530 million (approx. US$ 4.15 million) and will last three years. Telecommunications company Dialog Axiata is Sri Lanka's primary sponsor in home matches and are understood to have paid around Rs. 700 million (approx. US $5.47 million).
Both Dialog and the Tea board had bid for total sponsorship rights - for both home and away matches - but despite Dialog's bid having been considerably higher, SLC sought a compromise in order to accommodate "national interests". The Sri Lanka Tea Board is a government-owned entity that oversees the production and export of tea.
"Sri Lankan Tea and the national cricket team has been able to bring honour and fame to the country. We are proud to sponsor Sri Lanka Cricket," plantation industries minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.
The new sponsorships are a boon for the board, which is still clawing back from massive debts incurred in the 2011 World Cup. In the next three years SLC will receive more than twice the amount paid by the previous team sponsor in the previous three-year cycle.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here