The Cricketer is delighted to unveil Yorkshire Tea as the 2012 sponsor of the National Village Cup, which will be known as the Yorkshire Tea Village Cup.
The Harrogate-based family tea merchants join a proud list of former sponsors that include npower, Alliance & Leicester and most recently Persimmon. Brand Manager Kevin Sinfield was pleased to add Yorkshire Tea to the competition’s illustrious roll call of commercial partners.
He said: “Every cricketer knows you can’t have a proper cricket match without a proper cricket tea, so Yorkshire Tea is very proud to be sponsoring the 2012 National Village Cup.
“We can’t wait to see how the tournament unfolds and we’ll be making sure all the teams taking part have the opportunity to enjoy a proper brew. The battle to reach Lord’s is going to be thrilling and we are delighted to offer village cricketers the chance of a lifetime to play at the home of cricket.”
“We’ve had a connection with the game since the day cricketers first appeared on our packs over 30 years ago. These are really exciting times for cricket and now is the perfect time to deepen our involvement with clubs across the country.”
Now in its 40th year, the summer-long knockout tournament offers cricketing minnows the chance to compete in a nationwide competition that culminates in a September showpiece final at Lord’s. It is the only sporting event in the world that provides such a genuine Roy of the Rovers experience for its 3,500 likely participants.
Magazine Editor Andrew Miller – an active cricketer himself – summed up the new partnership within its widest cricketing context. “Most club cricketers tend to judge their opponents by the quality of the tea they lay on. And seeing as a strong Yorkshire is a strong England, I can’t think of any alliance that will better serve such an invaluable part of the English summer.”
Publishing Director Andy Afford was also thrilled to secure the support of the company whose mandate is to create a ‘proper’ brew. “All through the negotiation, we felt that the brands were a perfect fit. There’s always a good reason for the tea urn to be on at a cricket match and we are excited to be activating the sponsorship for the Yorkshire Tea Village Cup with Kevin and his fantastic team.”
The last word belongs to Mike Cassidy, the captain of 2011 champions Woodhouses CC, who said: “It’s a fantastic competition with a dream prize – to take your own club to play at Lord’s. We were based in the England dressing room and were looked after like kings. Lifting the trophy was incredible but I’ve also got to mention the food – it was the best cricket tea I’ve ever had. I’m normally a sandwich and cup of tea man – but with sea bass, roast beef and then homemade Bakewell tart on offer, I couldn’t turn it down!”
The competition starts on April 22 and is entered by approximately 300 village cricket clubs from England, Scotland and Wales with teams competing in 32 regional groups. The group winners enter a national draw that culminates in a final at the Home of Cricket on September 9.
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Launched in 1971 by The Cricketer, the world’s biggest-selling cricket magazine, the National Village Cup is still run by staff on the title. In 2011 the winner was Woodhouses CC from Lancashire, the club where Mike Atherton played as a teenager. This year, to commemorate the 40th anniversary, the MCC will be hosting a gala dinner in the Long Room for finalists, sponsors, officials and guests.
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