Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

No new cricket deal for Vodafone

Cricketers from England and India
Vodafone has been sponsoring the England cricket team for 12 years

Mobile phone group Vodafone has said it will not renew its sponsorship of the England cricket team when the current deal expires in early 2010.

Vodafone has been sponsoring the team for 12 years, but the global downturn has put pressure on sports sponsors.

The current agreement between Vodafone and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expires at the end of the winter tour of South Africa in January 2010.

The ECB said it "fully respected" Vodafone's decision.

"This, however, provides a wonderful opportunity for a new partner to come in to English cricket," said John Perera, ECB commercial director.

Cutting costs

Ian Shepherd, Vodafone UK's consumer director, said: "As part of an ongoing strategic review of our sponsorship portfolio, we have decided not to renew this sponsorship agreement.

"We remain fully committed to the successful conclusion of the sponsorship at the end of the winter tour of South Africa and we look forward to an exciting summer ahead with the Ashes," he added.

In November, Vodafone had announced it would be making 1bn of cost cuts because of increasing competition and the rising cost of raw materials.

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