ESS ties up with Wisden and Electrolux for cricket awards

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 commentators.

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. 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 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."

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