Ashes victory opens door for new England cricket sponsor

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is on the hunt for a new sponsor for England's home test matches after failing to negotiate a new deal with current partner npower.

Npower: the brand's long association with English cricket is set to end
Npower: the brand's long association with English cricket is set to end

The gas and electricity provider has been the title sponsor of domestic Test matches since 2001.

In 2009, it signed a two-year extension until 2011, with an option of extending the agreement up until 2013.

Npower currently pays around £4m a year for the deal.

It is understood that partly due to England's Ashes success – the team has just won the contest in Australia for the first time in 24 years – the ECB wanted around a 25% increase on the deal.

But npower has been unable to reach agreement with the ECB, prompting the ECB to say that it is now in the market for a new sponsor.

The failure to agree the extension is thought to be down to the ECB's refusal to accept npower's request for "performance revenue" – a gauge of the number of people watching the Test matches – to be factored into the commercial deal.

Viewing figures for England Test matches witness a considerable spike during an Ashes series. The next series is scheduled to be held in England in 2013.

However, a source at npower said it could still negotiate a new deal with the ECB.

John Perera, ECB's commercial director, said: "We didn't reach an agreement with npower. Our valuation didn't match their valuation."

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