LV= General Insurance has returned to the sponsorship of English cricket for the next three years, by becoming the title partner for England Men’s and Women’s domestic Test Series, up to and including the 2023 Ashes, as well as the County Championship.
The deal renews a long-standing association between the ECB and LV=, who sponsored the County Championship on three occasions from 2002, most recently between 2007 and 2015, after which it was replaced by Specsavers.
The Specsavers deal was extended in 2018 to cover Test cricket as well, but elapsed at the end of the 2019 season, a situation which left English cricket without a title sponsor during the Covid-hit summer of 2020.
Now however, LV= has returned to renew its association, which expands on a commitment in November towards the ECB’s #Runs4Funds campaign, a £1million joint investment between the ECB and LV= General Insurance to support focus areas of the grassroots cricket community impacted by Covid-19.
The partnership will resume when the reconfigured County Championship gets underway on April 8, in a remodelled three-group format as agreed by the 18 first-class counties to help mitigate against further Covid-related disruption.
Although the ECB are continuing to plan for cricket behind closed doors during the 2021 Test season, tickets have gone on general sale today for the five-Test series between England and India, which is scheduled to take place at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Emerald Headingley, the Kia Oval and Emirates Old Trafford.
Joe Root, England men’s Test captain, said: “LV= has been strong ally of cricket for as long as I can remember and it is great to have them back as a partner.
“From a personal point of view when I was starting out in county cricket I was lucky enough to be awarded the 2012 LV= Breakthrough Player of the Year, which was made even more significant because LV= donated money to my home club in Sheffield as well as the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.”
Heather Knight, England women’s captain, added: “It’s great to be able to welcome back LV= to the cricket family. The next few years promise to be an exciting time for women’s cricket and to have a partner such as LV= who are committed to investing in all areas of the game is great news.”
Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, said: “LV= has a long and proud history of supporting cricket and their return as a partner will benefit all levels of our game. The strength of our partnerships are vital and in LV= I know we have a partner that shares our ambition to support the growth of cricket from grassroots to our England teams.
“Today’s announcement is great news for domestic and international cricket and builds on the £1million #Funds4Fund community initiative that we have jointly made with LV= to support areas of the recreational game hardest hit by Covid-19.
“We are excited about the prospect of a summer of cricket that will feature the return of the LV= Insurance County Championship as well as a highly-anticipated LV= Insurance Test Series against India. We know how much our fans are looking forward to a summer of cricket and we continue to work closely with Government and plan for how we can safely welcome supporters back to our venues.”
Heather Smith, Managing Director at LV= GI, said: “As a business we’ve got a strong heritage in cricket going back almost 20 years and this partnership with the ECB gives us a fantastic opportunity to build on what we’ve done already and deepen relationships across all forms of cricket.