Mandira replaces Ruby in MAX's 'Extraaa Innings'

MUMBAI: The svelte cricket-loving Mandira Bedi has replaced bubbly Ruby Bhatia in MAX's Extraaa Innings during the forthcoming World Cup Cricket 2003.

SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta confirmed the same at the Advertising Club Bombay panel discussion on marketing opportunities that advertisers could leverage for their brands by ensuring participation in the forthcoming World Cup cricket (WCC) 2003. Bedi however was not available for comment as she was out of station.

Bedi's inclusion will be targetted at attracting women viewers during the early afternoon slots when the World Cup commences early February next year. Extraaa Innings will spearhead the entertainment segment of the two-hour pre-match programming and post-match programming on MAX, the sports and movie channel of SET.

Bedi, unlike Bhatia, could relate better with women viewers with her Indian looks and wholesome appeal, feel industry sources. MAX had claimed an increase in female viewership for cricket and cricket-related programming during the Champion's Trophy held in September this year.

The cricket programming had drawn criticism from some quarters for the dumbing down of the game it entailed. The channel had however insisted that ratings for Extraaa Innings proved otherwise.

Bedi was first noticed by a UTV director, Adi Pocha who cast her as Shanti in 1994. Bedi has also acted in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.. as a character with grey shades.

Bedi is currently acting in a sitcom Papa Baan Gaye Hero for Sony.

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