London, Aug.6 : The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Sky Sports and Five have signed a new four-year 300 million pound telecasting rights deal, which will come into force after the 2009 Ashes series.
Though excited by the deal, ECB Chairman Giles Clarke took pot shots at the BBC for showing a lack of interest in coming forward to sign up with the ECB.
Clarke called for a public debate into BBC's sports policy after they ignored cricket and instead paid 150 million pounds for Formula One television screening rights.
"All these people interested in cricket buy TV licences and surely they have a right to expect that the public-sector broadcasters mount bids for the nation's summer sport. After all, just how many people play F1?, The Sun quoted Clarke, as saying.
"The BBC must answer to the millions of cricket fans about how it prioritises its investment in sports rights," he added.
But a Beeb spokeswoman said: "The BBC is astonished by the comments by the ECB. Any bid for live Test cricket was subject to value for money and fitting into scheduling and in our view neither of these criteria were met."
Sky's package includes rights to live Tests, ODIs, Pro40 and Twenty20 matches, including the Stanford series. Five will show highlights.