Howzat? Setanta Sports counts down to IPL as Bollywood bowls over fans
London, UK: The Indian Premier League, to be broadcast exclusively on Setanta Sports from April 18-June 1, has caught Bollywood fever.
Names like Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar sound more like the line up of the next Bollywood blockbuster, but these stars are preparing to glam up the new Twenty20 cricket tournament.
The undisputed King of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan has acquired the Kolkata Knight Riders, with business partner Juhi Chawla and her husband Jai Mehta. Captaining the side is Saurav Ganguly and features Ricky Ponting, Ajit Agarkar and the controversial Shoaib Akhtar in its line-up.
Meanwhile, the fiery Punjaban beauty, Preity Zinta has claimed a stake in the Kings XI Punjab, to be captained by Yuvraj Singh and billionaire business tycoon, Vijay Mallya has bought the Bangalore Royal Challengers, which boasts Rahul Dravid as captain, Anil Kumble, Wasim Jaffer and Misbah-ul-Haq.
Other cricket-crazy stars include Akshay Kumar, who has become the official brand ambassador of the Delhi Daredevils and Hrithik Roshan, who is on his way to taking up the brand ambassador post for Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai Indians.
Teams have also been given the Bollywood treatment with top musicians and directors producing theme songs and music videos. Daler Mehndi sings the anthem for Kings XI Punjabi, and acclaimed director, Sanjay Gupta shoots the video for the Royal Challengers theme, which is sung by award-winning Kunal Ganjawala and composed by Sandeep Chowta.
Running from April 18-June1, 2008, the tournament consists of 59 matches and will see some of the biggest names in world cricket come together to form eight multi-national teams.The teams – Bangalore Royal Challengers, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians – have attracted the likes of SachinTendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Younis Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and Adam Gilchrist.
The Indian Premier League’s first season starts with Bangalore v Kolkata on Friday April 18th at 2.30 pm (GMT) on Setanta Sports 1.Trevor East, Setanta’s Director of Sport, said: "The Indian Premier League is going to be massive. Twenty20 cricket has been a phenomenal success and this tournament with all its world-class players is sure to capture the imagination of sports fans.
I firmly believe the IPL will become a highlight of the international sporting calendar for years to come. That's why we've shown our commitment by signing a five-year deal."Lalit Modi, Chairman & Commissioner, IPL, said: “We’re confident that this will be a successful working partnership for the next five years and we believe the viewers of Setanta will have a exciting line up of matches to look forward to.”
Setanta Sports is available for £9.99 a month to satellite viewers, via a Freeview box or an iDTV viewing card adaptor (CAM) and on BT Vision and Tiscali. Virgin Media XL pack subscribers can see Setanta for no additional charge, whilst M and L pack subscribers can add the Setanta Sports Pack for £9.99 per month.
For information on how to subscribe, go to: setanta.com or call 08712 10 20 30. Virgin Media, BT Vision and Tiscali customers should contact their operator.