Jaya TV is promising its fans a strong dose of the two intoxications that drive consumption on the small screen: cricket and film stars. Come January 27, the MGR-NTR tourney at Sharjah, pitting stars from the film world against each other on the cricket field, will be telecast on the channel.
The Sharjah cricket stadium, immortalised in cricket fans’ memories by Javed Miandad, will wear a different look on January 27. For the sizeable expatriate population from South India, most of the stars entering the field will be familiar faces. Tamil stars Vikram, Madhavan, Silambarasan, Srikanth, Abbas, Shyam, Jeyam Ravi, Arya, Jeeva and Bharath will face a Telugu side that includes Balakrishna, Dr Rajasekar, Tharun, Ravi Teja, Nithin and Manoj, among others.
And the rehearsals – sorry – net practice sessions, began in right earnest in India well in advance. Ranches International is organising the event, a part of the proceeds of which will go for charity.
Speaking to exchange4media, V Murali Raaman, VP-Programmes and Operations, Jaya TV, said, “This is the first time we are attempting something like this. If I were to comment based on the practice sessions, I’d say we can expect a high engagement cricket match on the excitement value.”
The Tamil star team has been practising hard at the Gymkhana Club every evening, coached by former Tamil Nadu Ranji player Suresh Kumar. Actor Srikanth, is even playing with Indian captain Rahul Dravid’s bat, sourced through his ‘good friend’ Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Jaya TV is also planning to telecast a curtain raiser with visuals from the practice session, on January 26, a day before the event.
Another event that marks the start of the channel’s event calendar is the Pancharathna Keerthana, which will go on air on January 26, from 9:05 am. Leading Carnatic singers including the Bombay Sisters, Soumya, TV Narayanan, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Dr N Ramani, P S Narayanan, Priya Sisters and more, were part of the classical musical do.