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NatWest seals groundbreaking ECB sponsorship

The England & Wales Cricket Board has announced banking group NatWest as its title sponsor for Twenty20 cricket at international, county and recreational level under a new four-year agreement.

The deal, effective from 2014, marks the first time a single-format sponsorship has been offered to one sponsor by English cricket’s governing body.

During the agreement, England will play eight international T20 matches. NatWest will also continue its backing of the England women’s team in home T20 fixtures.

From next year, NatWest will replace insurance firm Friends Life as the title sponsor of the ECB’s county T20 competition, which will be played under a revamped schedule with most matches taking place on Friday nights. 

Among its commitments to recreational cricket, NatWest retains the naming rights to the annual NatWest CricketForce weekend and becomes the lead sponsor of the ECB’s National Club T20 tournament, which runs across 32 leagues and ends with a finals day shown live by pay-television broadcaster Sky Sports.

The new deal continues NatWest’s 32-year involvement with cricket in England. The bank began with the NatWest Trophy from 1981-2000 before switching its attention to the international game through the ongoing NatWest ODI (one day international) Series and NatWest T20 Series, along with the NatWest Challenge from 2003 to 2005.