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Monday, June 7, 2010

Edition 24: TV loves cricket

The market for Cricket broadcasts goes much beyond the international matches or IPL. The fact was evident when Neo Cricket, which is the BCCI's broadcast partner, decided to bring excitement into the first ever state run T20 cricket event, the fledgling Maharastra Premier League (MPL) which is in its second edition.

The broadcaster secured the telecast rights for the MPL which took place from 17 -29 May 2010.The matches will be produced live by Nimbus Sport. Last year, the MPL did not have a broadcast partner and is thus hoping to boost its profile through television. Neo Cricket will telecast all the matches played at the Dr. D.Y. Patil Stadium. Other matches are to be played at the Poona Club and Deccan Gymkhana in Pune.

MPL 2010 is an initiative by the Maharashtra Cricket Association and the Sakal Media Group. The MPL teams were bought for under Rs 10 million last year. They have all been named after famous forts of Maharashtra, which are:

Pratapgad Warriors, owned by Life Cycle (Last year Guardian Holidays)
Raigad Royals, owned by Cadence
Shivneri Lions, owned by JMJ (Last year Serum Institute)
Sinhagad Supremos, owned by Jain Irrigation Sytems
Devgiri Emperors, owned by Muraspec
Sindhudurg Sailors, owned by Dahad Group
Panhala Panthers, owned by Mather and Platt
Torna Tigers, owned by Amanora Parktown
Raigad Royals walked away with the MPL trophy in 2009.

Clearly the idea is to capitalise on the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The thing to remember though is that the IPL was built on lots of money, glamour and big name cricket stars. MPL operates on a much lower scale and should mainly appeal to Maharashtrians. Most viewership should come from this state.

From an owner's perspective the investment is low. It gives companies the chance to get involved in the Twenty20 fever even if they cannot afford the IPL. The players have three-year contracts which were signed last year and a franchisee owner had to buy all the 14 players within a budget of Rs 600,000.

The MPL has got a clutch of other partners apart from Nimbus. Kyazoonga is the ticketing partner. Other partners include Yamaha, Men's Avenue, CottonKing and Urja. This year the prize money was Rs. 15 lakhs

Uphill Task For Women Hockey Team
An uphill task awaits India in this year's women's hockey World Cup in Argentina where they have been clubbed alongside reigning World and Olympic champions the Netherlands and formidable teams like Germany and Australia.

Japan and New Zealand are the other two teams in Pool A along with India.

The Indian eves will open their campaign against the mighty Dutch girls on August 30 followed by matches against Australia (September 1), Germany (September 3), Japan (September 5) and New Zealand (September 7).

The Pool B, meanwhile, consists of hosts Argentina, China, Spain, England, Korea and South Africa.

The opening match of the event, to be held in Rosario, Argentina from August 29 to September 11, will witness Asian rivalry between China and Korea, followed by hosts Argentina taking on South Africa and Spain-England encounter.

Believe It or Not, IPL-3 Was Clean!
Outgoing International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption chief Paul Condon said on Thursday he had no evidence to suggest there had been any corruption in the third edition of the Indian Premier League.
"IPL three from a clean cricket point of view seems to have been a very clean event," Condon told a news conference at Lord's. "There were rumours and vague allegations about match-fixing in IPL three.
"No one has come forward from within the Indian board or the IPL or franchises or journalists, players or team managers, anyone with any specific allegations about match-fixing in the IPL. All there has been is a generic rumour."
The Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) did not monitor the first two IPL Twenty20 competitions. Condon, who has been in charge of the unit since it was set up 10 years ago to deal with a match-fixing scandal which resulted in life bans for three international captains, will be succeeded by former senior British police offical Ronnie Flanagan on July 1.
Condon said the ACSU was still investigating the second test between Australia and Pakistan in Sydney this year, which the home side won after the Pakistanis appeared to be clearly in charge.
"It is a match and series that worried us," Condon said. "We spent a lot of time talking to the players, talking to the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board).
"Certainly we are satisfied that that was a totally dysfunctional tour from the Pakistan point of view and the dysfunctionality in the dressing room led to players not performing well, to maybe players even potentially under-performing deliberately.
"What we are still trying to establish is whether that was because rival camps wanted to do down captains, or potential captains, or whether they were doing something more serious and were doing it for a financial fix."

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