MUMBAI: This is an alliance through which ESPN Star Sports and
Wisden, which has been synonymous with the bat and ball game for
over a century, are hoping will give a major boost to their profile.
The parties have announced the inaugural edition of the 'Electrolux
Wisden International Cricket Awards'.
The show will take place on 4 October in Mumbai at the National
Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) and will simulcast on the two
channels. To create hype around the event the broadcaster will have
a series of curtain raiser shows shot in the different cricket playing
countries such as Australia, England, South Africa. The reports
will also feature comments and analyses from Wisden's writers and
An international jury appointed by Wisden will meet in England
in August and choose the winners. The categories include the Electrolux
International Cricketer of The Year, The Indian Player Of The Year,
Special Achievement Award.
There will also be a month long interactive Electrolux Kelvinator
Peoples choice Award. The cricket mad Indian public will get to
vote on their favourite star. This is the second time Electrolux
has teamed up with Wisden. Last year in July the two parties teamed
up for the Electrolux Kelvinator Wisden Indian Cricket Century which
saw Kapil Dev being named as the Indian cricketer of the century.
Speaking on the alliance MD ESS Manu Sawhney said, "An awards night
on our channels is a natural extension of the cricket we showcase
from eight out of the ten test playing nations to our consumers.
The high production values of our programmes will make the awards
function a very memorable one."
MD Cricinfo Badri Seshadri was also present. The Wisden and cricinfo
sites are at the moment running in tandem. He said,"Widen has been
operating in India since 2001. Our cricket almanac is considered
the bible of cricket. Two years ago we were involved with first
pay-per-view live streaming of cricket along with Pacific Cyberworks.
Subsequently we offered live streaming for Zimbabwe and West Indies
series in conjunction with Doordarshan. Wisden.com also offers subscribers
features and information that go beyond our almanack.
On television we have had the show 20:20 on Doordarshan. Last years
awards show where we honoured the best Indian performances over
the last century was aired on Ten Sports. We have now switched to
ESS on account of the brand recognition. They also redefined the
nature of cricket broadcasting. On Max we had the Wisden cricket
ratings appear during the World Cup."
Elaborating further Seshadri said, "After Wisden's founder John
Wisden acquired a stake in cricinfo.com the online interests of
the two companies were merged a couple of months ago. Right now
both sites are running in tandem. In the future the aim is to create
one site, which will offer a myriad of services both basic and premium.
For over a year now we have been publishing the Wisden Asia Cricket
Magazine out of India in association with PentaAsia."
CEO and MD Electrolux Kelvinator India Rajiv Karwal said, "This
event is another step towards strengthening the relationship we
have forged with the game. We have used Rahul Dravid to promote
our contests across the country. As far as sponsorship of other
sports are concerned we have been involved with Golf tournaments
at the Delhi Golf Club. In the football arena since 1998 we have
sponsored the Allwyn Durande Cup.
"Our brand position this year is 'Life Nourishing System'. This
is a promise to provide consumers with white goods that add a whole
new dimension to their lives. We are a company that understands
the users every need to make products add value to life. In the
global sphere we have also constantly tried to innovate technologically.
Our Walky Talky which was the world's first talking washing machine
found a place in Ripley's Believe It Or Not."
Also present was former West Indian captain and one of the ICC's
match referees Clive Lloyd. Speaking with an expected air of authority
he said, "ESPN is doing a marvellous job with its sports coverage.
I am delighted to be associated with this event. In 1971 I was one
of Wisden's cricketers of the year."