The ICC has announced that the last three days of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 will be shown live by ESPN STAR Sports.
Six matches* from 22-24 March will be shown live from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium online at www.espnstar.com/live. The ICC has also secured live television coverage of these games into key territories via ESPN STAR Sports and its licensees around the globe. A full broadcast list will be circulated at a later date.
This will be the first time an ICC Development event, featuring only the Associate and Affiliate Members, will be shown on a live global television broadcast.
This represents a major breakthrough to expose cricket outside the traditional Test playing countries, and aligned with the ICC’s Strategic Plan, is an important step in promoting cricket to become a bigger, better global game.
The ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 is a 16-team global event that will be played in the UAE from 13-24 March. The top two sides will progress to the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, to be staged in Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele from 18 September to 7 October, where they will have the potential opportunity to face Australia, England, India and West Indies.
Among the six live matches, that will be broadcast from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, are the first qualifying final, the preliminary final, the second qualifying final and the overall event final (see Notes to Editors).
Haroon Lorgat, ICC Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 can be watched live on television and online broadcast. I am sure the finals weekend of this tournament will turn out to be one of the most exciting weekends in the history of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme. With this event providing a qualification pathway to a major global ICC tournament, there will surely be lots of interest across the globe.
“We would like to thank our broadcast partner, ESPN STAR Sports, and our licensees for their splendid commitment to help us grow the game across the world and for their recognition of the growing interest in the sport outside of the Test playing world. This is an important part of our global strategy”
Anurag Dahiya, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Cricket Rights, ESPN STAR Sports, said: “We are pleased to be working with the ICC to ensure that six matches from this important qualification tournament are shown across the world via our digital platform espnstar.com.
“We have already seen through our broadcast of recent ICC events, how well the likes of Afghanistan and Ireland have competed against some of the best players in the world, so it will be exciting to see these teams battle it out with some of the other leading Associate and Affiliate teams and allow our viewers to watch matches between nations that they may have never seen play cricket before.
“We believe our commitment to showcasing cricket from outside the Test playing world is essential in helping the sport continue to grow from strength to strength.”
* Notes to Editors
The matches, which will be broadcast live, are:
22 Mar – Group A 2nd v Group B 3rd (1000-1300), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
22 Mar – Group A 1st v Group B 1st (1400-1700), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
23 Mar – Winner (Group A 2nd - Group B 3rd) v Winner (Group A 3rd – Group B 2nd) (1000-1300), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
23 Mar – Loser (Group A 2nd - Group B 3rd) v Loser (Group A 3rd – Group B 2nd) (1400-1700), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
24 Mar – Winner Match 65 v Loser Match 61 (1000-1300), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
24 Mar – FINAL (winner Match 61 v winner Match 71) (TBC), Dubai International Cricket Stadium
espnstar.com, the leading online platform in Asia, has showcased a wide variety of sports events to fans and during the last ICC Cricket World Cup event held in 2011, it had created new record by serving more than 65 million videos to cricket fans in the region and across the globe.