Star India bags broadcast rights for Indian cricket in deal just shy of billion-dollar mark

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It was another huge windfall for the BCCI as the auction finally concluded.

BCCI’s online auction for the broadcast rights to Indian cricket for the next five years finally came to an end on Thursday with Star India bagging the contract.

The winning bid by the broadcaster fell just shy of the billion-dollar mark at $945 million (Dh3.4 billion) approximately as the e-auction came to an end on its third day. Star India beat off aggressive competition from Sony India and Reliance Jio to clinch the deal.

This is a substantial jump from BCCI’s previous deal with the same broadcaster which stood at $750m (Dh2.7bn).

BCCI acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhury took to Twitter and announced: “Congratulations @StarSportsIndia on bagging the BCCI Media Rights @ 6138.1 crores at an average of 60.1 crore per game.”

This is the second major windfall within a year for the world’s richest cricketing board after it sold the rights to the IPL for a whopping figure of $2.55 billion for a period of five-years to Star India itself in 2017.

The first of its kind online auction by the BCCI sees the value of the deal trump the IPL deal when it comes to the cost per match. The IPL deal values a single match at rupees 545 million (Dh30m) while value of each home match by India under the latest deal stands at 601 million (Dh34m).

The Indian cricket media rights are for a five-year cycle from June 2018 to March 2023 which covers 102 matches of the senior men’s team amongst others.

As things stand, Star India now rules the roost when it comes to Indian cricket, holding the rights to both the national team’s home matches as well as the lucrative IPL.

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Sourav Ganguly backs Rohit Sharma to become first batsman to score T20 double-ton

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Ganguly, Tendulkar and Rohit share a light moment.

According to former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, the day is not far away when Rohit Sharma will score a double ton in T20 cricket.

Ganguly made the claim during the book launch of his latest autobiography ‘A Century is not Enough’ in Mumbai on Wednesday. Accompanying the highly-decorated former skipper were the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit himself.

Praising the current India vice-captain and Mumbai Indians skipper, Ganguly backed Rohit to become the first T20 double centurion.

“Sachin scored his first hundred in ODI and taking inspiration from him, Rohit has gone on to score three double centuries in ODIs. The day is not far when we will see him scoring the first double century in T20s too,” he was quoted as saying by the PTI.

The 45-year-old was also asked by a member in the audience to give his views on the recent ball-tampering episode that has rocked Australian cricket.

Expressing sympathy for the suspended Steve Smith, Ganguly was confident that the former Australia skipper will be able to fight his way back into the side.

The trio poses with Ganguly's autobiography.

The trio poses with Ganguly’s autobiography.

“Smith is a good human being. Of course, what happened is unfortunate but I’m sure he will make a comeback to the Australian side and we will see him play again. I feel sympathy for him,” he stated.

The Kolkata-born left-hander also spoke in brief about his infamous run-in with former India coach and Australia captain Greg Chappell which had led to Ganguly’s ousting from the team.

“A big part of success in cricket, in any sport is how you handle your failures and tough situations. What happened during those days in Indian cricket was unfortunate but after losing my place in the team, I worked really hard to make a comeback. And when I finally made a comeback, I was much stronger mentally. I batted well in the last four years of my career and in fact Sachin always says that those four years were the best period of my life as a batsman,” Ganguly explained.

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Virat Kohli refreshed and raring to go once again after 'much needed' break from cricket

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The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is ready for the IPL season.

India skipper Virat Kohli has said that his break from cricket following the culmination of the South Africa tour had been a much-needed one.

Currently preparing to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 11th edition of the IPL, Kohli had taken a complete three-week break from cricket following his exertions on the South Africa tour.

“I required it. Physically I was having a few niggles. I pretty much went to the tour of South Africa with full intensity. Towards the end, the body obviously took a bit of beating. I understood that I needed complete time off from the game. Three weeks without even looking at my kit bag or bats was a weird feeling,” the batting maestro said in a media interaction at Bengaluru on Wednesday.

In Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma had led India to a win in the Nidahas T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka. Following his break, the right-handed batsman said he was back to his peak fitness and raring to go in the IPL.

“At the back of your mind, you are never out of the game. I was keeping a check on all the scores from around the world, especially with India playing as well. That kept me involved in some way. Physically, I wanted to take a complete break. I’m feeling strong and I’ve been training non-stop for the last 12 days. I feel I’m getting close to peak condition. I’m definitely at 100 percent now; 110 is what I prefer and that 10 will take a little more time,” Kohli explained.

Kohli was granted a break by the BCCI after the South African tour.

Kohli was granted a break by the BCCI after the South African tour.

The Bengaluru-based franchise are yet to lift the IPL trophy despite making three finals and it is a record which the skipper wants to put right in the upcoming edition.

“More than the fans I want to win the cup. I have been with Bangalore for last 10 years and we haven’t crossed the final hurdle three times. I can assure you, my commitment is going to be 120 per cent to try and achieve the goal this time,” the 29-year-old stated.

Kohli’s men will open their IPL campaign on April 8 when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.

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