Streaming giant Amazon Prime has forayed into live sports in India by purchasing exclusive rights for New Zealand Cricket in the country for a period of six years. Amazon will live stream all New Zealand based cricket in India till 2025-26.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White termed the deal as ‘massive’ for the board especially in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted the sports right market globally.

“This partnership with Amazon Prime Video is massive for NZC – we’re delighted and proud to be teaming up with such a famous and successful brand. As we’ve said before, the future of live sport is streaming and in Amazon Prime Video we have a partner right at the coalface of the industry; innovative, go-ahead and well-known for putting fans and subscribers first,” White said in a statemen on Tuesday.

“One of NZC’s key goals is to extend our teams’ global reach and to build closer relationships around the world and, in terms of that particular objective, we don’t think we could be in better hands,” he added.

The deal gives Amazon exclusive rights to stream all women and men international cricket to be played in New Zealand across formats starting late 2021.

It also includes India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2022, and a second tour, the dates for which will be announced later. The rights for 2020-2021 season starting later this month is intended to be syndicated by Amazon.

White further said that due to the massive cricket following in India, it has always been an important market for them. “India has always been an important market for us; no other country follows cricket like India, so it’s exciting to be announcing this agreement with India’s leading streamer,” he said.

Amazon already already has streaming rights in other sports including Thursday Night Football, Premier League, ATP Tour Events, WTA, the US Open (tennis), UEFA Champions League, and the Autumn Nations Cup (rugby).