A bank is close to replacing Waitrose as the main sponsor of English cricket

 
Emma Haslett
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Waitrose announced plans to end its sponsorship earlier this year (Source: Getty)

Waitrose is set to be replaced as the main sponsor of English cricket by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offshoot Natwest, reports have suggested.

The supermarket announced in February that 2016 will be its last year as the main partner of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Today Sky News reported RBS was in advanced talks with the ECB over a partnership which would lead to Natwest's logo appearing on players' shirts.

The partnership would be the one of the biggest sponsorships undertaken by RBS since its £46bn bailout in 2008, which left the government with a 81 per cent stake, which was later reduced to 78 per cent.

However, in recent months the government has begun its selloff of the bank: in August last year the government raised £2bn through a selloff of a five per cent share, cutting its holding down to 72.9 per cent.

Last month it also emerged RBS was considering the sale of Natwest and the soon-to-be-spun-off Williams & Glyn branch network.

RBS declined to comment. The ECB was not immediately available.

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