Indian Street Premier League’s Inaugural Season Ignites street2stadium Revolution

Indian Street Premier League’s Inaugural Season Ignites street2stadium Revolution

Indian Street Premier League

Mumbai, 6th April 2024: The concept of #Street2Stadium has transcended mere imagination with the inaugural Indian Street Premier League (ISPL). The tournament, heralded as India’s pioneering tennis ball T10 cricket extravaganza played inside a stadium, was masterfully orchestrated by a distinguished Core Committee comprising legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ashish Shelar, Amol Kale, and Suraj Samat. The air crackled with anticipation as the ISPL unfolded its maiden spectacle, held amidst the pulsating ambiance of the Dadoji Konddev Stadium in Thane. Under the floodlights, cricket aficionados converged to witness the fusion of raw talent and electrifying passion.

Six formidable teams—Majhi Mumbai, KVN Bangalore Strikers, Srinagar Ke Veer, Chennai Singams, Falcon Risers Hyderabad, and Tiigers of Kolkata—battled fiercely for supremacy in the gripping 10-day showdown. The arena became a cauldron of unbridled excitement, with the very essence of the tennis ball cricket ecosystem pulsating through every moment.

The ISPL cast its enchanting spell, captivating the hearts of millions. Sony Pictures Network, the league’s official broadcaster, witnessed an unprecedented surge in viewership, with its overall reach (including TV and digital) soaring to a whopping *11 million. Meanwhile, the stands reverberated with the cheers of nearly 5 lakh fervent fans, igniting an atmosphere of pure cricketing euphoria.

Reflecting on the success, Suraj Samat, League Commissioner, ISPL, said, “The overwhelming response to the ISPL underscores the deep-rooted passion for our beloved gully cricket in our country. We are immensely proud to have provided a platform for street cricketers to showcase their talent and for fans to enjoy a new era of sports entertainment.”

Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer – Distribution & International Business and Head – Sports Business, SPNI, official broadcasters of the Indian Street Premier League, said, “The inaugural edition of the Indian Street Premier League highlights the immense talent pool for cricket in India. It has also showcased the passion for gully cricket in our country. Sony Sports Network is proud of its association with ISPL and looks forward to exploring new avenues to engage with sports fans in India”.

The Indian Street Premier League, an unprecedented blend of cricketing prowess and star-studded entertainment, has set a new benchmark in sporting extravagance. With Bollywood celebrities taking the helm as team owners, the league radiated an irresistible charm, adding the much-needed glitz and glamour from the heart of B-Town and the celebrity sphere. Legends such as Amitabh Bachchan (Majhi Mumbai, co-owned by Neeti Agrawal’s PATH India Ltd.), Akshay Kumar (Srinagar Ke Veer), Hrithik Roshan (KVN Bangalore Strikers, co-owned by Venkat K Narayana’s KVN Enterprises LLP), Saif Ali and Kareena Kapoor Khan (Tiigers of Kolkata, co-owned by Aksha Kamboj’s Aspect Global Ventures Pvt. Ltd), Ram Charan (Falcon Riders Hyderabad, co-owned by Irfan Razack’s INR Holdings) and Suriya Sivakumar (Chennai Singams, co-owned by Rajdipkumar and Sandipkumar Gupta), lent their star power, ensuring the ISPL captured the imagination of diverse audience segments and demographics.

Enhancing its allure, the ISPL unveiled a spectacular opportunity: 101 scholarships unveiled by Amitabh Bachchan, each worth INR 1 lakh, empowering recipients to fuel their holistic growth and development. Adding to the excitement, every registered ISPL participant was gifted a digitally signed cricket bat bearing the legendary signature of Master Sachin Tendulkar himself. This gesture not only bolstered camaraderie within the community but also bestowed upon each member an ISPL family card, ushering in a new era of inclusivity and privilege for grassroots cricketers. Such initiatives have forged an elite fraternity, previously uncharted in the realm of cricket.

The ISPL’s magnificence was evident from its dazzling opening ceremony, which featured a riveting Exhibition Match between Masters’ XI led by ‘Bharat Ratna’ Sachin Tendulkar and Khiladi XI captained by Akshay Kumar. A galaxy of influential celebrities donned their cricketing attire, sharing the field with cricketing icons to create an unforgettable spectacle. The first ball of the tournament featured a heartwarming moment which saw Jammu and Kashmir para cricketer Amir Hussain Lone don Tendulkar’s jersey to get things underway.

On the field, the action lived up to its billing, with nail-biting encounters captivating audiences from all walks of life. Innovative features such as the ‘Tip Top’ toss, the 50/50 challenge, ‘Tape Ball Over’, and ‘9 Street Runs’ added an extra layer of excitement, enhancing the appeal of the tournament. Beyond the boundary, electrifying performances by artists like MC Stan, Honey Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, and many others kept viewers and fans enthralled throughout the tournament.

The grand finale and closing ceremony were nothing short of spectacular. Kiku Sharda and Krushna Abhishek’s uproarious comedy set the tone for the evening, while superstar DJ Chetas’ mesmerizing Xylo Band Show, a spectacle previously reserved for global acts like Coldplay, illuminated the packed stadium with its lights and sounds. It was the perfect culmination, leaving fans yearning for more. Dipak Chauhan’s role as President of Operations shone brightly as the seasoned professional leveraged his extensive expertise in tennis ball cricket, resulting in the seamless execution of the tournament.

As the inaugural season of ISPL draws to a close, it leaves behind a legacy of entertaining cricket and enduring camaraderie, epitomizing the spirit of the game and the allure of stardom ingrained in India’s cultural fabric.

The registration portal for Season 2, slated to kick off from January 31 to February 9, 2025, is now open, providing budding cricketers with a platform to shine on the big stage. Buoyed by the resounding success of its debut season in India, the ISPL is set to expand its horizons to the Middle East in November 2024.

As the curtain falls on this remarkable inaugural chapter, the ISPL stands on the cusp of greatness, its promise and potential shimmering brightly. It is poised to emerge as a strong product that will only keep delivering to the Indian cricket growth story and captivating fans across the country in seasons to come.

Rabindra

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