The telecommunications giant Vodafone, also title sponsor to the top formula one team McLaren, has pulled its long-standing backing of the England cricket team.

The telecommunications giant Vodafone, also title sponsor to the top formula one team McLaren, has pulled its long-standing backing of the England cricket team.

John Perera, commercial director of the England and Wales Cricket Board, predicted the move is a sign of the impact of the world economic downturn on sport.

"Cricket and most other major sports have had a very successful run in marketing and commercial terms in the last five or ten years. This is the first downturn in the period," he told the Telegraph.

Vodafone also plans to end its backing of football's Champions League, but at present remains committed to McLaren.

It is suggested that Vodafone's impending withdrawal of its $6.1m per year cricket sponsorship was decided after a wider "review" of its sports backing, including that of the McLaren team.

 

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