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Vodafone ends England cricket sponsorship

LONDON - Vodafone is to end its sponsorship of the England cricket team in January 2010 after 12 years, following a review of its sponsorship activity, which includes a tie-up with Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton.

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Its decision not to renew its existing four-year deal means its support of the England team will cease after the winter tour of South Africa at the start of 2010.

Ian Shepherd, consumer director at Vodafone UK, said: "We've enjoyed a successful relationship with the ECB and the England Team over the past 12 years and the sponsorship has provided us with a platform to build the Vodafone brand and add value to our customers."

The mobile operator will maintain a relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board to develop a legacy programme at grass roots level.

Vodafone's other globally-focused sponsorships include one with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren Mercedes team.

It also recently launched an unsigned acts competition with MTV across 26 countries.

Vodafone's sponsorship covers Test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 games. Npower sponsors UK Test cricket and NatWest supports the international one-day game.

The ECB also has a roster of second-tier sponsors, such as Volkswagen, Hugo Boss and Marston's.

John Perera, commercial director at the ECB, said: "We fully respect their decision and look forward to working with Vodafone over the next twelve months in what promises to be the start of another exciting and momentous chapter for the England Cricket Team.

"This however provides a wonderful opportunity for a new partner to come in to English cricket."

The England team recently won respect for resuming its tour of India after the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

The first test in Chennai concluded yesterday with India winning by six wickets after a rocky start.


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