ICC President, Ehsan Mani, is confident that this year’s ICC Champions Trophy will be the perfect stage for India’s cricket fans to show their renowned passion for the game. The biennial cricketing event, considered as the second biggest after Cricket World Cup, will be held in India between October 7 and November 5, 2006. SET Max has the broadcast rights for India.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Mani said, “India’s love for cricket is enormous and the supporters here deserve a world-class tournament. The ICC Champions Trophy is that world-class event this country has been craving. And with a new format that would ensure every match will feature a huge amount of intensity, this tournament promises to be the best ICC Champions Trophy yet.”
Sharad Pawar, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was equally enthusiastic at the prospect of hosting the tournament, the first time India has staged an ICC event since 1996, when it acted as joint hosts of the ICC Cricket World Cup alongside Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
This year’s tournament will see the top 10 cricket teams battle it out in 21 matches at four venues. The final will be played at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on November 5. The other match venues include Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Mohali.
Mani said that the timing of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy, coming less than six months before the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, would add to its excitement and give it a genuine edge and significance.
He further said that the tournament had been granted tax exemption. “The tax exemption was an important factor in determining the location for this event and the Indian government’s decision is a massive boost to the game of cricket all over the world,” he added.
The ICC Champions Trophy is part of a range of ICC events that have been sold to broadcasters and sponsors, with the revenues forming a significant part of the budget of several ICC members.
“In addition to the millions of dollars earned by the ICC full members who take part, this tournament alone will have generated $65 million in funding for associate and affiliate members of the ICC, by the time the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 concludes,” Mani pointed out.
“The support of our commercial partners and the contribution of Global Cricket Corporation, together with those of our official global partners LG, Pepsi, Hutch and Hero Honda, as well as our official partners IndianOil, Cable and Wireless, and Visa and our broadcast partners, particularly SET Max, is invaluable,” he further said.