Lanka Cricket, Ten Sports to play 20/20 cricket

MUMBAI: Innovation is the name of the game as far as presenting sports is concerned. The same holds true for cricket. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) together with Ten Sports have announced they will will stage the first 20/20 cricket event in Asia.

The event will be played in August and September. This is when the Holland Tourney and Champions Trophy take place on Max. The 20/20 event was first introduced in England to stop the rapidly declining interest in their county cricket.

As the name suggests each team bats for and bowls only 20 overs instead of the nromal 50. The inaugural tournament in Asia will have Sri Lanka's 16 premier clubs divided into two groups. The quarter finals take place on 2 September while the final will be played on 3 September. Ten Sports will have live coverage of this. The broadcaster is also looking to have a similar event staged in Pakistan.

One wonders though as to the kind of viewing the tournament will get in India. It is a fact that interest in our Ranji Trophy is dismal to say the least. Couple this with the fact that as mentioned above 20/20 will be competing for attention with two premiere international cricket tournaments.

It remains to be seen as to how Ten goes about building up interest in the brand. Max was able to successfully do that for the Under 19 World Cup which was held earlier this year. Max's former business head Rajat Jain recently told that the next time the event took place advertisers and media planners would sit up and take notice.

SLC CEO Duleep Mendis added, "20-20-cricket is a new concept, which has come to stay in terms of playing positive cricket and a result oriented version of the game. It is attractive to both spectators and sponsors alike and the hallmark of 20-20-cricket would be that a game could be concluded within the space of three hours."

Ten Sports VP Peter Hutton mentioned that for some time the broadcaster had been trying to make steps to assist domestic cricket in Sri Lanka. "I am sure this will be just the first of such initiatives."

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