Now, TV reality show on cricket

Revered icons like Irfan Pathan will be mentoring young cricket enthusiasts on how to play professionally AFP

New Delhi: Dec 31, 2011

In a cricket-crazy nation, how could a reality show on the popular sport be far behind? UTV Bindass is set to launch “Cricket Champs”, a nationwide hunt for cricket talent, waiting to find the right mentoring and platform to excel in the sport.

The show is being launched in association with New Delhi-based Indraprastha All India Sports Foundation. Cricketers like Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Keerti Aazad and Piyush Chawla among others will be mentors on the show.

“There is a definite attraction for such a show on cricket. Our main target audience at UTV Bindass is the youth, who will be happy to see revered icons like Irfan Pathan mentoring young cricket enthusiasts on how to play professionally,” Keith Alphonso, the channel’s business head, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

The basic concept of the show is to choose players, who have the talent but not the opportunity.

The markets in which “Cricket Champs” will hunt for the players will be Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Bangalore and Patna. It will also travel to other states – Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The cricketers will be chosen in two categories — Under-16 and Under-22, and the on-ground hunt for the show will begin Jan 17, 2012, in the capital.

The selected candidates will be divided into eight teams.

The winner of “Cricket Champs” will win a cash prize of Rs.1 million, while the top 10 players will be given a chance to be coached by some renowned names in Indian cricket.

“Cricket is a religion in India. So after music and dance reality shows, it was time do a reality show on cricket. Like the ‘Indian Idol’, this is a version of ‘cricket idol’,” Rohini Rajdev, chairperson, Indraprastha All India Sports Foundation, told IANS.

“Through the show, we are not promising a place in the Indian cricket team. But it will prove to be a worthy platform where they can show their talent, learn new things and prove themselves,” added Rajdev.