Champions League Twenty20 2013: A Preview

MUMBAI: The coming weeks are going to be a treat for cricket lovers as they have many reasons to cheer. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will be playing their last internationl T20 matches. Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad will be competing against giants from the countries of Australia, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians will fight for the top two spots in Group A to qualify for the semis, whereas Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad will compete in Group B.

Six on air sponsors have already been signed - Karbonn Mobile and Tata Docomo have come on board as co-presenting sponsors while Airtel Broadband, Pernod Ricard, Bharat Business Channel (Videocon D2H),  Panasonic and Toshiba India have been roped in as associate sponsors.

On ground sponsors include - Karbonn Mobiles, Panasonic, Britannia, Panasonic TV and Jaypee cements. This is the second year in a row that Karbonn Mobile has associated itself with CLT20. Previous sponsors include Nokia and Bharti Airtel.

The total prize money is the same as the previous year as $6 million out of which the winning team will receive $2.5 million. ESPN Star Sports bought the global broadcast rights for CLT20 in 2008 at a whopping $900 million for the next ten years.

A musical anthem Ragad Ragad has been created as part of the marketing campaign for this edition which is currently running on electronic and digital media. Prasoon Joshi has written the lyrics for it and the track performed by Mika Singh, who will also be performing at the opening ceremony on 21 September in Jaipur.

CLT20 will also have bilingual commentary in both English and Hindi. Star Sports and Star Cricket HD will be in English while Star Cricket will have it in Hindi. Additionally, this year the first and the final matches will be telecast on Star Gold as well with Hindi commentary.  ?We have also invested heavily on building strong Karbonn Smart CLT20 centric programming in the run-up to the league,? says ESPN Software India COO Vijay Rajput.

Commentators who will be giving viewers an ear-gasmic experience include Harsha Bhogle,  Sanjay Manjrekar, Wasim Akram, Simon Doull, Alan Wilkins, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Bishop, Pommie Mbangwa, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Kapil Dev, Sanjay Bangar, Ayaz Memon, Deep Dasgupta, Murali Karthik, Aakash Chopra and Arun Lal.

The action has already begun on ESPN Star Sports channels but the real deal is yet to begin.

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