The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been forced to admit defeat in its hunt for a title sponsor for its flagship one-day county competition, the English National League (MW May 29).
The ECB has instead handed responsibility for finding sponsorship for league games back to the county cricket clubs, which have been asked to sign up local companies and existing partners.
Newly appointed ECB commercial director Mark Sibley says: “We were very close to a deal but unfortunately missed out. Hopefully, the sponsorship climate will be more favourable next year.” Sibley took up his post in May.
Sibley says that clubs should use their local contacts to find sponsors. Deals will involve perimeter boards, stumps and mats used during league games played at each ground.
The ECB also failed to fill the four sponsorship spots for the inaugural Twenty20 cup competition, which started last Friday. Australian trade exchange Bartercard has signed up as the competition’s third sponsor, joining npower and Philips.
Meanwhile, Surrey County Cricket Club has signed RAC Motoring Services as shirt sponsor in a &£100,000, one-year deal. A Surrey spokesman says moves to find a sponsor for next year are already underway.