The Cricket World Cup final will be available to watch on free-to-air television if England make the showpiece, Sky Sports has announced.
The broadcaster said on Friday that if England reach the July 14 final at Lord’s – they are in semi-final action next week – it will “ensure as wide an audience as possible is able to watch the game”.
International cricket has been behind Sky’s subscription paywall since 2005, and calls have been increasing for at least some of it to return to free-to-air television.
Sky UK and Ireland chief executive Stephen Van Rooyen said: “We are proud to be the broadcaster for a home Cricket World Cup – one of the world’s biggest and most exciting sporting events.
“Our aim has always been to celebrate what could be a ‘once in a generation’ moment of a home team in a big final on home soil.
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“So, if England reach the final, we will make the match available to everyone so the whole country can be part of a rare and special big sporting moment.”
England seamer Liam Plunkett suggested on Thursday that the team were keen to attract the biggest audience they could.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “You want as many people to watch it as possible.Playing for England you’re the pride of the country and you want people to beable to access that and watch that.
“It’s always nice to be on a bigger platform. We feel like we’ve builtsomething special here as a team.
“It would be nice to go all the way and to have big numbers watching thatfinal if we get through and win, that would be huge.”