ESS announces ?Cricket Sabha? elections

MUMBAI:Although the rights to the World Cup have been bagged by MAX, ESPN and Star Sports are hoping to cash in on cricket fever with a unique promotional show - ?Cricket Sabha? election - that kicks off tonight.

The promotion asks viewers to select the Indian cricket team for the World Cup 2003. Five lucky voters whose team tallies with that of the final list that makes it for the World Cup, will win a free trip to South Africa.

As a part of this campaign, on-ground road shows will be held in seven cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Jaipur. Debates on the relative merits of the candidates will be broadcast on Sportsline, Sportscenter, Radio and Internet. The ballot paper for the election will be available online or through advertisements in mainline media. Actual electoral booths will also be erected across the country for cricket enthusiasts to cast their votes.

The on-air launch of this TVS and Palmolive sponsored promotional show will be telecast tonight at 8:30 pm on ESPN, and 10:30 PM on Star Sports. It profiles 30 candidates for the Indian World Cup squad ? along with their ?election symbols?.

ESS experts Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with commentators Harsha Bhogle and Alan Wilkins, will analyse and evaluate players, their chances of making the team, and advise voters on how to choose the team.

The ?Cricket Sabha? entries start today and close on 31 December. The results will be declared after the ?Judgment Day? episode, coinciding with the official announcement of the final squad.

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