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Friends Provident back Trophy

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced that Friends Provident, the FTSE100 life and pensions company, is the new title sponsor of the domestic one-day competition and will be known as the Friends Provident Trophy.

The deal, worth £2 million over three years, will run from 2007 until the end of the 2009 domestic season.

A change for 2007 is the introduction of semi-finals, which will take place at the end of June following the preliminary conference rounds. Lord’s will host the final in August.

John Perera, ECB commercial director said: “We are delighted that Friends Provident has decided to sponsor the Trophy and extend their influence in cricket.

Friends Provident Trophy

"Friends Provident has been a supporter of cricket through their partnership with the Test match grounds for some time now and I am pleased that they have become a major domestic competition sponsor."

England and Durham batsman, Paul Collingwood, is delighted with the latest announcement: "It’s great to have Friends Provident on board for the Trophy. They have been on the cricket scene for a while now, but to have them as a main sponsor is fantastic.”

Simon Clamp, managing director, marketing and UK distribution, at Friends Provident, added, “We are proud to be sponsoring such a prestigious competition.

"This is a great opportunity to build on existing involvement with international cricket and we are looking forward to building a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the ECB."

As a fifty-over competition, the Friends Provident Trophy is the only domestic tournament that replicates the international one-day format and its importance is well-recognised by international players.

England and Gloucestershire bowler Jon Lewis added: "The Friends Provident Trophy gives us great experience for our one-day international matches.

"Coming as it does at the beginning of the season is brilliant because it means we get enough 50 overs games in ahead of the home international series.”

The competition will be officially launched in April and the Friends Provident Trophy gets underway on Sunday April 22, with both semi-finals due to be held on Wednesday June 20.

The Friends Provident Trophy Final will be held at Lord’s on Saturday August 18. For a full list of fixtures visit Domestic