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Indian Cinema stars and Sri Lankan cricketers bat for Videocon IIFA Weekend

New Delhi, Thursday 20th May 2010: Cementing its commitment to building bridges between countries, IIFA 2010 will host a special charity cricket spectacular as part of the Videocon IIFA Weekend in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Cricket for Children’ event, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match, will be played between India’s top cinema stars and Sri Lankan cricketers. “The unique initiatives undertaken by IIFA 2010 will undoubtedly forge a stronger bond between India and the host country,” said the Hon. Dep Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. 
Longtime IIFA supporter, Indian Cinema superstar, Anil Kapoor said,IIFA’s journey over the last ten years has opened many doors for the Indian film Industry in the host country, be it in terms of the film shooting avenues or the assistance given to filmmakers and producers from Government and Tourism bodies.
IIFA has also helped propel Indian Cinema, by virtue of the deals that have been struck with production houses and the screening of our films that would have never had the opportunity to be showcased there, prior to the IIFA event. 
Forming the Sri Lankan Cricket side are Sri Lankan cricketers, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumara Sangakkara and Jayawardena, among many others. The Indian contingent prepared to put up the fight for charity include superstars, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Suneil Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh and  many more.  
Legendary Sri Lankan cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan said, “Playing the greats of the Indian cricketing world has always been special to me. The IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match is indeed a unique opportunity to make friends with the greats of the Indian Cinema fraternity and see how they compare. I hope our countrymen will root for the cause, supporting the initiative of ‘Cricket for Children’, in the spirit of the game.” 
Adding a bit of glamour to the cricketing preceding, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket Match official toss will be done at the hands of Bipasha Basu and Sanjay Dutt.
The match to be held on Day 2 of the Videocon IIFA Weekend is expected to draw large crowds, giving cricket and cinema fans to see the best of the two fraternities, on one platform. 
Recognizing the magnitude of the effects of the recently-ended conflict in Sri Lanka, the IIFA Charity Initiative, in conjunction with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and UNICEF, aims to positively impact the lives of former child soldiers and other vulnerable children.
 Speaking on the partnership Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, said “Here we see the magic of cinema and cricket coming together to build bridges of hope for these children to help them realize their full potential” Through the efforts of IIFA, UNICEF and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, contributions in lieu of financial resources are being made to the Cricket for Children” project where former child-soldiers and other vulnerable children are being rehabilitated.
Through this initiative children are being trained as ‘Cricket Peer Leaders’ and will be given a chance to participate in the celebrity cricket match.  As a symbol of solidarity with the Sri Lankan people, IIFA in partnership with Habitat for Humanity will adopt and rebuild a village for refugees, with the proceeds of the cricket match being donated to this cause, the IIFA Hands for Humanity project.
The Literacy Partner for IIFA 2010, Linc Pens in association with IIFA is devoted to the cause of literacy and will be donating stationery to the IIFA model village in Sri Lanka. The IIFA night of nights, the Micromax IIFA Awards 2010, will see a stunning performance line-up including, Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu,  Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi and Sri Lanka’s own, Jacqueline Fernandez.
For the first time, the world will also get to see a preview of the Kingdom of Dreams, which will perform a piece from the to-be launched theatre production that would be staged in Gurgaon.  With a few more performances and tricks up its sleeve, the Awards ceremony will prove to be a never before spectacle, sure to dazzle the Emerald Isle. 
Hon. Dep Minister of Economic Development, Sri Lanka- Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said, "With the dawn of the new era in our island, Sri Lanka which is renowned as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, has great potential in expanding its vistas in Investment, Tourism, Agriculture and other sectors that will immensely contribute towards the rapid development drive initiated by the Government. IIFA will play a vital role in further strengthening the mutual cooperation of the two nations.” 
Speaking on the way forward and growing importance of the Sri Lanka-India partnership, Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International said, “IIFA is proud to be associated with the UNICEF and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board to bring about a positive contribution to Sri Lanka. The FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum will focus on the potential of Sri Lanka as an investment destination. All roads lead to Colombo, as IIFA puts on a grand three day show in the heart of Sri Lanka. 
The Videocon IIFA Awards will be held from the 3rd to the 5th of June, 2010.
Speaking on the association with IIFA, Anirudh Dhoot, Director, Videocon Industries Limited said, "We are delighted to partner with the IIFA and present the Videocon IIFA Weekend for the second consecutive year. The Videocon brand has evolved over the past year to emerge as a vibrant convergence of next-generation entertainment, convenience and communication. The Videocon IIFA Weekend is an extravaganza that brings together and showcases Indian entertainment on a global platform and presents us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our brand evolution amidst India's colourful cultural diaspora.” 
Sponsoring the Micromax IIFA Awards for the first time, Business Director, Micromax Mobile, Vikas Jain said, “Micromax is delighted about its association with the IIFA Awards – a platform that is synonymous with innovation and appeal, as is Micromax. Our relationship with IIFA will provide a unique experience for our consumers thereby strengthening our relationship with the Indian Diaspora across the globe, specially the youth. We are sure that the Micromax IIFA Awards will reach new heights as never seen before.” 
For the first time, Shoppers Stop in association with IIFA will present an Indian cinematic inspired exclusive line – IIFA Bling for its exclusive brands Insense, Kashish & Mario Zegnoti. This collection is available at all stores of Shoppers Stop across the country, encapsulating the exuberance and glamour of the Indian Film Fraternity style icons.  
Taking the Greening of the IIFAs forward in IIFA’s eleventh year, Panasonic announced the continuation of its association with IIFA.  Speaking on its alliance with IIFA, Mr. Manish Sharma, Director – Marketing, Panasonic India said, “It is an honor for us to carry forward the association with an international cinema platform like IIFA which recognizes excellence. Our association as the green sponsor provides us the platform to communicate our philosophy of ‘Eco Ideas’ that champions the cause of a greener environment. Taking the Greening of the IIFAs forward, we will focus on building a movement to help protect the environment.”  
The IIFA Weekend and Awards is held in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB). Star TV will once again showcase the Micromax IIFA Awards to audiences globally reaching out to millions of viewers. Panasonic will continue the Greening of the IIFAs and Sri Lankan Airlines will be partnering IIFA as the Official Airlines Partner.
The Literacy Partner for IIFA 2010 is Linc Pens. Reebok is the Apparel sponsor for IIFA Foundation Cricket Match. Western Union has also come on board as the Official Money Transfer Partner. IIFA Weekend Associate, Gitanjali Lifestyle, will support IIFA embellishing the events and the glitter of the stars.
The Indian cinema stars are set to descend onto Colombo for the IIFA Weekend and Awards from the 3rd-5th of June, 2010.