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Home / India News / 2007 / March / March 28, 2007
Sukhvir Singh, the Son of a Bus Driver from Chandigarh is the 'Cricket Star'

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Sukhvir Singh, the Son of a Bus Driver from Chandigarh is the 'Cricket Star'

Chandigarh, Punjab, India

By a record margin, Sukhvir Singh emerged as the winner of the innovative Cricket talent hunt - Cricket Star. Cricket Star, a first of its kind talent scout in India, sponsored by Airtel and Fair & Lovely Menz Active, the program has attracted more than one million smses and close to 25,000 applicants who were keen to earn the coveted opportunity to train and play for Leicestershire County Cricket.

Manoj Badale, Chairman of Investors in Cricket (IIC) - company that owns the intellectual property rights, says," This is a dream come true for a small village boy from India. Cricket Star has demonstrated that talent exists beyond metros & mini-metros, and, it is our belief that right opportunity and process to unearth talent is the cornerstone of a successful team selection. Today, Sukhvir has demonstrated that although from a humble background, given the right opportunity and encouragement, one could bring out the innate Cricketing talent. Every top cricketer has had an English County cricket stint, by exposing the young budding talent to Leicestershire County cricket; we are upping the standard of cricketing skills as well as other skills required for a modern day international cricketer."

Kapil Dev, the Chief Selector of 'Cricket Star', feels, "I am very happy to announce Sukhvir Singh has won the Cricket Star and extremely happy that he will be playing county cricket. All the final eleven players have strong talent. I would like to mention that Dinesh Salunke- 'Man of the Series' and Mohammad Abbas, the runner -up are exciting cricket players with potential to play higher levels. I am planning to offer scholarship to the two cricketers. Robin Singh has also offered to train couple of other players. It is our commitment and responsibility to encourage and nurture talent from smaller towns of India."

Robin Singh, Director of the Cricket Star Academy is elated at the response that the talent hunt has generated and says that," Cricket Star is a unique and an innovative talent hunt format that includes public opinion in shaping the future of cricketing talent. I am happy that Sukhvir has come out in flying colours and I wish all the final 11 cricketers a bright future. I am offering a training scholarship to the spinners at the MAC Spin Foundation in Chennai where I am the director and we are training the spinners who will ultimately represent India."

Welcome to the first of its kind,_a cricket reality show - Cricket Star! Envisioned by Investors In Cricket (IIC), an innovative company which specializes in the creation and management of sports rights and properties relevant to the Asian Sub- Continent, Cricket Star, an interactive cricket talent hunt was born. Like most reality shows, this show too follows the format of elimination, based on expert inputs followed by public voting.

Fair & Lovely Menz Active, one of the presenting sponsors is firmly backing the show. Mr. Ashok Venkatramani, Sr. Vice President, Skin Care, HLL, says, "Cricket Star is a unique program that reaches across India. FAL Menz Active's emotional benefit is "Change your story". And, Cricket Star is about changing the life story of people. So, it is a very good synergy between the brand and the content. Sukhvir's victory is testimony to our commitment."

Endorsing the program, Mr. Gopal Vittal, Director, Marketing and Communications of Airtel says "In India, cricket and Bollywood share a passion that cuts across geographies, cultures and religions. Today, every street, nukkad, or galli in this country has an enthusiastic budding cricketer waiting for an opportunity to perform on a bigger stage. Cricket Star is a unique interactive multimedia talent hunt for India's best young cricketers. It is a platform to search for those individuals who have the hunger, ability and desire to perform at the highest level and become India's next Cricket Superstar. Airtel is in the arena of creating memorable opportunities and moments for the consumer and proud to have been associated with Cricket Star. Sukhvir's victory will be a source of great encouragement for all the budding cricketers in India".

Adds Mr. Dalip Pande, Head-Communications, IIC, "The objective behind the show is to create a platform that provides an opportunity for untapped talent to be showcased on National Television. This is not a show about rich kids who can afford to spend daddy's big bucks in enrolling at big cricket clubs. It is about scouting for real talent that lies unseen and unheard in the interiors of India, the India which we rarely bother about, a case in point being Munaf Patel, who rose to superstardom from a tiny village called Ithar."

The show, which made its debut in India, will soon be implemented in Pakistan and the UK.

Boasting eminent cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sanjay Manjerakar as the Selectors and Robin Singh as the Director of Academy and conceptualized by former Middlesex player Simon Hughes, the show got rolling in December 2006 with 25,000 entrants from different parts of the country. Twenty three made it to the Cricket Star Academy, which through the process of voting out by their team mates have been pruned down to eleven. These eleven played Twenty20 matches against the Reebok XI, Invitation Under 19 XI, Leicestershire County Cricket Club - who made the trip especially to play against the Cricket Star XI - and the Air India XI at the MIG Cricket Club, Mumbai.

Twenty20 Cricket is the most exciting, fast-paced Cricket format that has gained global acceptance. The academy was also visited by former and current legends of the game who conducted 'Master Class' on various aspects of Cricket. The cricketers - the Master Class Legends - were Geoff Boycott, Mahela Jayawardane, Waqar Younis. Monty Panesar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohd. Kaif, VVS Laxman, Ashish Nehra, Sandeep Patil and Tim Boon - ex cricketer and current coach of the Leicestershire County team.

The show was a simulcast on Doordarshan National and Zee Sports and weekly episode on Zee TV.

About Cricket Star:

'Cricket Star'-Lakhon Mein Ek!!! is a unique, interactive, multimedia talent hunt for the world's best young cricketer(s) whom the entire country will relate to and feel proud of. Cricket Star's passion, drama and energy has captured the hearts and minds of millions of viewers who have followed the unraveling story on television, across the Internet and through their mobile phones. The winner will win an expenses-paid contract with Leicestershire County Cricket Club (one of 18 professional first class teams in the UK) and attractive cash prizes besides earning an international celebrity status.

About IIC:

Investors in Cricket is an innovative company which specializes in the creation and management of sports rights that have relevance to the Asian sub-continent. IIC was formed by a group of businessmen and entrepreneurs who were convinced that their commercial acumen, can-do attitude and passion for the game could have a positive impact on cricket. Over the past 24 months that conviction has been borne out and IIC has grown rapidly. Its properties now include Cricket Star (the cricket reality TV show), The International 2020 Club Championship (the "Champions League of 2020 Cricket"), and the commercial rights of Leicestershire County Cricket Club.

Dalip Pande, Investors in Cricket, +91 98203 08787

Vidhya Shankar, IPAN, +91 99200 96654

Source: Investors in Cricket (Business Wire India)

Press release presented here is sourced from the Source mentioned above and is provided on as-is basis. Please contact the Company / Source directly for any further information in regard to this release. This website will be unable to assist you in regard to the accuracy or correctness of information in this release.

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