On the Front Foot: Playing the name game has become a Brit complicated


Sponsorship is a complicated business in cricket. It is also multi-faceted. For instance, today is, officially, the fifth day of the fifth Investec Test at The Kia Oval being played between one team backed by Brit Insurance and another by VB, who will both leave the field in the afternoon for a Yorkshire Tea break. Though lunch appears for the moment to be owned by no-one.

Since there is no such thing as a free lunch that state of affairs will probably not last. The existence of the modern professional game depends almost wholly on these corporate links. They may be less important than broadcasting rights, without which there really would be no point in playing, but it all adds to the pot. It also makes it difficult to know what to call the event.

Understandably, firms which have paid to have their names attached want their names attached but it can become pretty cumbersome despite the constant stream of polite reminders. When Alastair Cook, the Brit England captain, came in to deliver a few platitudes to the press pack on Tuesday, he made sure to refer to the match he was about to play in as the Investec Test. Good for him.

Matters should take an interesting turn next year when Brit, which has utterly lost interest in its four-year deal after the company was restructured last year, is replaced as team sponsor by Waitrose. The fight for attention between the supermarket and Investec, an asset management company with a 10-year-deal should be quite something. The car firm which has ground naming rights at The Oval, is the fourth company to have acquired them.

As with all these things they must be enjoyed while they last. Kia today, gone tomorrow.

Secret world of Wardy

Broadcasting of the game has never been better, though the combined might of Sky and BBC Test Match Special had trouble justifying play on Friday when England took to extremes a Thou Shalt Not Pass approach. The coverage this summer has been ineluctably lifted by the introduction on Sky of the Ashes zone.

Engagingly fronted by Ian Ward it has featured a series of coaching sessions which have explained and illustrated techniques and tactics. Two memorable examples involved Shane Warne and Kevin Pietersen (showing a sunny disposition in the media for once) while Andrew Strauss and Nasser Hussain have been constantly involving. It is like being granted access to a secret world.

An every day story

Sales of Surrey CCC On This Day should have soared during the Test. The county's media man, Jon Surtees, set himself the task of finding at least one event from each day of the year to chronicle the club's history. Sometimes he struggled. For instance, the entry for 29 September reads: "All-rounder Grant Elliott, fresh from an underwhelming display for Surrey in the Friends Provident T20, took 4-31 as New Zealand beat England in the Champions Trophy at Johannesburg."

Elliott played nine matches. Surtees' claim that: "The history of Surrey CCC is the history of cricket" may raise a few hackles but in a commercial world it is a labour of love (Pitch Publishing).

Len's golden age of speed

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of England's biggest win against Australia when 22-year-old Len Hutton's world record 364 took them to victory by an innings and 579 runs at The Oval. England scored their 903-7dec at the then more or less regulation 2.7 runs an over, 0.6 runs quicker than they managed three quarters of a century later. Different worlds.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own