Microsoft announces television alliances with Tivo, MTV

MUMBAI: This is an initiative which consumer durable LG Electronics is looking to strengthen its relationship with the bat and ball game. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and LG have joined hands to produce and promote the LG-ICC Test Championship- the LG-ICC One-Day International Championship and the first ever official player rankings, the LG-ICC Player Rankings.

The deal encompasses the LG-ICC Test Championship launched in May 2001, the LG-ICC ODI Championship launched in October 2002. Joining the two is the new LG-ICC Player Rankings.

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said that he was delighted that LG's enthusiasm for cricket had helped the ICC to introduce official rankings for individual players alongside the well-established team tables.

Speed adds, "Post ICC Test Championship in May 2001, it has been our ambition to complement this with an ongoing championship table for One-Day International cricket and official player rankings.

"The ICC ODI Championship was introduced in October 2002 and today's announcement implies that we now have a full suite of official rankings," said Speed.

LG deputy MD M.B. Shin said that this partnership expanded the company's long-standing involvement with international cricket. "LG Electronics has established itself as a major international sports sponsor and has partnered with top sporting associations and bodies globally. In terms of cricket LG's commitment to the game extends far beyond mere ads and sponsorships; we are truly committed to the development of the overall quality of the game in the long run."

Cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar said, "Statistics play a big role in cricket and there are no more interesting statistics than the standings of teams and the relative merits of players.

The fact that all of this information is now 'official' is good news for the sport and to its passionate fans alike. I congratulate the ICC and LG for this association."

India captain Sourav Ganguly said that the introduction of officially recognised player rankings would be popular with the players. "These player rankings have been tried and tested over many years and it is excellent news that they have now been officially recognised by the ICC and LG."

Meanwhile, Australia reaffirmed its top spot in the LG-ICC Test Championship with a recent 3-0 home series victory over Pakistan. It also leads the way in the LG-ICC ODI Championship tables in which New Zealand is its closest challenger. The top Test batsman is Rahul Dravid while the top Test bowler is Glenn McGrath.

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