The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is today announcing a major long-term partnership with LV= General Insurance (LV=GI) across international and county red-ball cricket.
The deal sees LV= GI become Official Title Partner of Men’s and Women’s Test Cricket in England & Wales, and the Men’s County Championship, until the end of 2023.
The LV= Insurance County Championship will get underway on April 8 in a remodelled three-group format as agreed by the 18 first-class counties to help mitigate against the possible impact of COVID-19.
This new partnership expands LV= GI’s commitment to cricket in England and Wales following the recent launch of the £1million #Funds4Runs initiative – jointly funded with the ECB – which is helping those recreational cricket communities most impacted by the pandemic recover financially.
#Funds4Runs was launched in November 2020 and focuses on the main areas where access to cricket support or cricket itself has been limited, including children from deprived backgrounds, diverse communities, disability groups and women and girls’ programmes.
The initiative, and LV= GI’s support, will also help deliver against three wider ECB objectives – delivering the purpose of ‘connecting communities and improving lives’ through cricket, increasing the relevance of cricket locally and growing long-term engagement with the game in these communities.
Financial support from the initiative will be accessible to affiliated clubs, All Stars cricket centres, Community organisations, County Cricket Boards and Cricket Wales. Interested parties can register their interest in #Funds4Runs funding at ecb.co.uk/funds4runs or find out more information at lv.com/gi/cricket.
The partnership also marks a return to professional cricket in England and Wales for LV= GI, which has a longstanding heritage and association with the sport. LV= GI’s involvement dates back almost 20 years to 2002 and includes three separate stints as title partner of the County Championship – most recently from 2007-15 as the LV= County Championship.
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.
“We understand the importance of supporting local communities and the launch of #Funds4Runs, to help grassroots cricket clubs to get back on their feet during this awful time, was a proud moment and this longer term partnership will give us the opportunity to support cricket at all levels. Domestic Test and County cricket has seen some truly historic moments in recent history, so to be a part of this over the next three years is very exciting. Away from the professional game, we also want to help strengthen cricket communities across the UK, and our values around supporting communities closely align with those of the ECB.”
ECB Chief Executive, Tom Harrison, 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.”
England Men’s Test captain, Joe Root, 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, captain of the England Women’s Test team, said: “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.”