There just does not seem to be an end to the cricket mania. The ICC announced in Delhi on Monday that along with carmaker Hyundai it will organise cricket’s own ‘Oscars’, the ICC Awards, in London on September 7 this year. Sony Entertainment will be the broadcasting partner for the event.
The ICC Awards, to be held in London’s Alexandra Palace, will honour international cricket’s most outstanding players over the past 12 months, according to ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.
The individual awards include Cricketer of the Year, Test Player of the Year, ODI Player of the Year and Emerging Player of the Year. The team awards include Test team of the Year, ODI team of the Year and Spirit of Cricket Award.
Speed said that this was an inaugural partnership between Hyundai and ICC, and welcomed the company to the international cricket world.
Hyundai, the official sponsor of the ICC Awards, is betting on the huge audience that the event is expected to provide. “Globally we observed that the popularity of cricket is far more intense than in any other sport. This sport is growing so rapidly that to strike the right chord with the customers, we decided to involve ourselves in such an important endorsement,” said President of Hyundai Motor India B.V.R. Subbu.
Asked on the “Oscar” concept, Subbu said, “Just as the Oscars are the official awards of motion pictures, the ICC Awards will be the official awards for the stars of cricket. There can be nothing more official than this.”
Speed said that the awards will be an annual feature and said he was “very happy to see cricketing legends like Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar in the panel of 50-member voting academy”.
Meanwhile, SET is gearing up too. Sony Entertainment CEO Kunal Dasgupta said, “We have been associated with ICC for sometime and so we wish to carry on with our ties. The ICC has given us the rights to telecast shows up to 2007, so we are looking forward to it.” Asked if there will be any special schemes for Hyundai during the telecast, he said, ”We are talking to them and there may be schemes for Hyundai.”