India-Australia: Fight to stay on top

MUMBAI: All cricket fans now have a one stop solution in the name of ESPN Star Sports. The BCCI’s marketing committee has awarded the rights for telecasting all international matches played in India to ESPN Software India and Star Sports at Rs 2 crore per match.

The first in line is the eagerly awaited India-Australia series to be played between 10 October and 2 November. In the docks are seven ODIs and one T20 match marking the total telecast value at Rs 16 crore; the last time India faced Australia, the guests were left sour-faced with a 4-0 defeat in a test series.

MSD and Michael Clarke will be locking horns on the field but locking hands off the field

India, the leader in ODI currently with 123 points, will fight Australia to retain the top position as the Aussies are second with 115 points. If Australia topples India with a comprehensive win then they will be the new kings while if India wins the series they retain their position.

With English commentary the series will be seen on ESPN and Star Cricket HD while Hindi commentary will be on Star Cricket. At the same time live streaming will be happening on their website which will carry replays and highlights as well as content not shown on TV. A vigorous marketing campaign shouting out their theme ‘Fight for No 1’ has already kick-started.

Analyses of the matches before and after will also be on the lines of ‘Fight for No 1’. “As a broadcaster, we will ensure a world class telecast so that fans enjoy this high intensity contest,” says ESPN Software India COO Vijay Rajput.

“It is the mother of all series. 7 ODIs and a T20 against Australia during the Diwali season surely make it a really big series for us. India-Australia contests have always generated lots of interest amongst Cricket fans in the country,” adds Rajput. “Moreover, India’s national team has not been in action for close to two months now and fans would be eager to see them in action again.”

The bids that were made to BCCI were for just two series: India-Australia and India-West Indies but ESPN Software India and Star Sports India ended up bagging the rights for the whole 2013-14 season.

The Champions League T20 finals are just around the corner. But viewers need not be disappointed as the mega ODI series between the top two countries will begin right after.

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