Cricket secures mega-deal

Cricket Australia has overcome widespread pessimism about the national team's Ashes prospects to seal sponsorship deals for its home Test and one-day series.

CA is poised to announce that tussles for its naming-rights deals for international matches have been resolved, with the most significant outcome being Commonwealth Bank's major investment upgrade to become its primary sponsor.

The deal, estimated to be worth almost $50 million over four years, is believed to rival the AFL's deal with Toyota, and Tennis Australia's Australian Open partnership with Kia, as the biggest in Australian sport.

Kia's latest extension, confirmed in January, was speculated to be $50 million over five years.

Commonwealth Bank has sponsored Australia's home one-day matches for the past six years, and also has smaller deals involving the Southern Stars national women's team, the Big Bash League and Cricket Victoria.

The new deal will result in it shifting from the men's 50-over matches to the Tests, in time for this summer's Ashes series against England and through until at least the end of the 2016-17 season.

The vacancy to be left by the bank for the one-dayers is believed to have already been filled. While the identity of the new sponsor is yet to be disclosed, the deal is believed to be about $35 million over five years, a greater annual fee than the NRL's deal with Telstra.

The agreements, when confirmed, will represent a significant off-field milestone for CA, which finished the summer needing to resolve two major commercial issues well before the home Ashes series: the sponsorships and the now-lapsed television broadcast rights.

The latter is yet to be completed, with Channel Ten challenging incumbent broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports.

CA has officially been searching for a new Test sponsor since June last year, when Vodafone announced it would let its sponsorship lapse after an 11-year tenure.

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