PPP Healthcare has pulled its sponsorship of English county cricket well ahead of the tea-break.

The company decided to opt out half way through a four-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board. Signed in April 1999, PPP attributed its upping of stumps to “commercial reasons”, adding: “Our decision has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with cricket, the state of the game in this country or the way it is organised by the ECB”.

However, the news will come as a blow to the ECB, which is also trying to find sponsors for its cup competition (formerly sponsored by NatWest) and international test matches (formerly Cornhill).

ECB marketing director Terry Blake remained upbeat: “We are very confident. We have found replacements in the past and we are confident we will be able to in the future”. However, poor attendances at county games and the lack of terrestrial TV coverage may hinder the search for a new sponsor.

News source: Financial Times