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Cricket agency boasting Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler is poised for sale to marketing giant

EXCLUSIVE: Powerhouse cricket agency with Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler up for sale to marketing giant with strong ties to the ECB and The Hundred

  • England’s largest cricket agency PMG is sold to marketing giant CSM
  • Ex-England and Lancashire left-armed Neil Fairbrother’s powerhouse Phoenix Management Group is widely regarded as the largest representative company in cricket
  • PMG has English stars like Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in its books
  • Fairbrother is in advanced talks to hand over control in ‘seriously lucrative deal’
  • CSM Sports and Entertainment has close ties with both the ECB and The Hundred

Britain’s largest cricketing agency – which has the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler on its books – will be sold to a marketing giant with close ties to the ECB and The Hundred.

Ex-England and Lancashire southpaw Neil Fairbrother’s powerhouse Phoenix Management Group, widely regarded as the largest representation company in the sport – is on the brink of being acquired by CSM Sport and Entertainment, whose non-executive chairman is fond of cricket fan Lord Seb coe.

In what has been described as a ‘seriously lucrative deal’, the 58-year-old is in advanced talks to hand over the reins to a group that oversaw the ECB’s biosecure return to cricket, sponsorship deals for The Hundred and also a shirt sleeve sponsor for England last year.

England's largest cricketing agency, Phoenix Management Group, to be sold to marketing giant CSM Sport and Entertainment, which has close ties to the ECB and The Hundred

England’s largest cricketing agency, Phoenix Management Group, to be sold to marketing giant CSM Sport and Entertainment, which has close ties to the ECB and The Hundred

England captain Ben Stokes (above) is represented by Phoenix Management Group

Star batter Joe Root (photo) is also in his books

Phoenix Management Group has people like Ben Stokes (left) and Joe Root (right) on the books

Fairbrother founded Phoenix in 2018, which is known as one of the key drivers of cricket talent management in this country.

Aside from a host of current stars, it also takes care of a number of former players who now work in the media, including Isa Guha, Steve Harmison and Michael Vaughan.

The potential deal comes at a difficult time for Vaughan, who was resigned last year by the BBC following allegations from whistleblower Azeem Rafiq.

PMG chief, ex-England and Lancashire left-armer Neil Fairbrother (pictured above), 58, is in advanced talks to hand over the reins in what has been described as a 'seriously lucrative' deal

PMG chief, ex-England and Lancashire left-armer Neil Fairbrother (pictured above), 58, is in advanced talks to hand over the reins in what has been described as a ‘seriously lucrative’ deal

However, it is clear that he will continue to be part of the BBC’s coverage of the upcoming Test with New Zealand at Headingley.

The broadcaster has to assist Vaughan, although questions about his indictment are not aired, leaving the potential for a substantial elephant in the room.

Either way, the potential sale will send shockwaves through the sport. And in an intriguing twist, it would significantly strengthen the hand of CSM, which is already working with the ECB.

The non-executive chairman of CSM Sports and Entertainment is an avid cricket fan Lord Seb Coe

The non-executive chairman of CSM Sports and Entertainment is an avid cricket fan Lord Seb Coe

In 2020 they were appointed to help the governing body formulate a biosafe return to cricket amid the pandemic, and helped design the biosafe environments at the Ageas Bowl, Old Trafford and training venues in Worcester and Derby during the English series with the West Indies.

CSM was also tasked with crafting a commercial proposition that attracted commercial partners to The Hundred when it debuted last year.

None of the parties involved wished to comment.

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