Boost for T10 League as Sony commits for three more years
Indian television broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks has signed a new three-year deal to show the T10 League, the international short-format cricket competition which made its debut last year.
Sony, an established cricket broadcaster, has tied up the rights in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East and North Africa to the 10-overs-a-side tournament ahead of the second edition in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Sony was a partner of the inaugural event held at the same venue last December, and won by India’s Kerela Kings.
The T10 League, which is an evolution of the popular Twenty20 leagues around the world, is sanctioned by the International Cricket Council.
The event has been extended from four to 10 days (23 October to 2 November) this year, and, as a result of the Sony deal, there will be live TV coverage on the Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD channels in India, on Ten Sports in Pakistan and on Ten Cricket in the MENA region.
This will complemented by live streaming on digital platform SonyLIV.
Top players confirmed for the 2018 T10 League include Chris Gayle of the West Indies, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik of Pakistan, Eoin Morgan of England, Shane Watson of Australia, Brendon McCullum of New Zealand, Sunil Narine and Darren Sammy of the West Indies and Rashid Khan of Afghanistan.
The multi-year TV deal was welcomed by Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of the league, who said: “This allows us to take the league to a much-wider audience across the region and help us promote the format and grow year-on-year.”
While the T10 League enjoys ICC backing, the governing body is concerned at the proliferation of short-format competitions that have sprouted up on the back of the success of the Indian Premier League, the influential Twenty20 tournament, and the release of players by national boards.
With this in mind, there will be discussion on tightening up the rules for new competitions at the ICC board meeting in Singapore next week.
Geoff Allardice, the general manager of cricket for the ICC, told AFP: “It’s not going to be an open door for any promoter to come in. I think it will be a bit harder to get sanctions in the future and any tournament would need both the support of the home country and the ICC.”
• Cricket South Africa has announced the venues that will host matches in its new Twenty20 league starting next month.
Matches will take place at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, SuperSport Park in Centurion, Kingsmead in Durban, St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, Newlands in Cape Town and Boland Park in Paarl. The venues were chosen following an independent assessment process conducted by Nielsen Sport.
The six-team competition, tentatively named the T20 Cricket League, is a replacement for the CSA’s initial project – the T20 Global League – which was abandoned last year because of the lack of a major TV deal and sponsorship.
The inaugural tournament is due to start on 9 November, and will be televised by SABC, the South African public-service broadcaster.