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Posted on Nov 14, 07:29PM | IBNS
ESPN STAR Sports, Asia's leading sports broadcaster, on Wednesday announced that STAR Cricket, the definitive 24 hour cricket network, will unveil a brand new presentation of the upcoming India England cricket series in Hindi.
To build up this unique offering, the sports broadcaster has lined-up a mouth-watering list of experts who will do commentary as well as studio analysis on every match day.
The list includes Indian bowling legend and the 1983 World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, former Pakistan opener and captain, Ramiz Raja, the flamboyant and colourful Test batsman, Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian captain and batsman Saurav Ganguly, Test cricketer Arun Lal and noted cricket journalist Ayaz Memon amongst others.
STAR Cricket's presentation/ production will be based on the theme - 'Jo baat hindi mein hai, kissi aur mein nahi.... Dekhiye India vs. England 15 Nov se Hindi mein sirf STAR Cricket par'.
Sanjay Gupta, Star India COO, said: "This is the need of the hour. 85pc of the core cricket viewers prefer to watch Hindi content on TV. By providing world class Hindi presentation and commentary we believe this will significantly increase the involvement with the game and have a positive impact on viewership."
The upcoming India England series will be broadcast by ESPN STAR Sports beginning Nov 15.
The series involves 4 Test matches, 2 T20 matches and 5 ODIs.
While STAR Cricket will telecast the Hindi presentation, STAR Sports and STAR Cricket HD will have the English version.
Speaking on the occasion, Kapil Dev said, "I have been thinking for better part of past 2 decades why is that Hindi commentary is not pushed on live cricket. Cricket is followed not just in metros but across the country, in villages, in towns.
"Look at the current Indian team - Dhoni, Zaheer, Harbhajan, all of them come from small towns/ cities. It is the need of hour and I am glad that STAR Cricket has taken this initiative in launching a quality product in Hindi language."
Navjot Singh Sidhu said, "Dil hai Hindustani. Hindi bolo, Hindi suno. It feels so much better when you say it in Hindi. Even for the cricket lover, it will make so much of a difference.
"I mean what fun in saying 'great shot', when a batsmen has played a good shot. Instead, 'Dhuadhar ballebaji', is so much more fun, so much more apt. We will take the experience of the viewer to another level on STAR Cricket. I am looking forward to my stint."
Arun Lal said, "This is the way to go. This is need of the hour. If people want to watch and consume cricket in Hindi, one should offer quality product not a feeble attempt as has been the practice in the past.
"I am glad ESPN STAR Sports has taken up the challenge head on and is working towards making a product in Hindi language which will match upto to English in all aspects of production. It will be fun."
Ayaz Memon said, "Indians are the biggest consumer of cricket and it is important that cricket is presented in an Indian language. I think we are going to redefine how cricket is consumed in India.
"I am looking forward to working with illustrious list of commentators. It is going to be a huge challenge but I am confident that viewers will love what we have to offer."