Mumbai, Sept 9 (IBNS) ESPN STAR Sports, the official broadcaster and commercial partner of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 (NCLT20), on Friday formally announced Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan as the face of the tournament.
Commenting on his association, Shahrukh Khan, said, "I am extremely proud to be associated with Nokia Champions League Twenty20. I am doubly happy as my team Kolkata Knight Riders is also in with a chance of qualifying for this prestigious event.
"NCL T20 is a unique concept as the best T20 teams from across nations face off for the ultimate prize - being Champion of Champions. It doesn't get better than this as the best T20 exponents bring out their best fare for the cricket loving fans worldwide."
Khan said he is confident that his team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will do well in the tournament.
"I am also quietly confident about my team - Kolkata Knight Riders. I believe that the team is pulling out all stops to prepare for this event and I feel that along with the other IPL teams KKR also has a good chance of first qualifying to the main edition and then excelling in further matches.
"We are working hard and we promise to deliver wholesome and exciting cricket for our fans," said SRK.
Nokia, the title sponsor of Champions League Twenty20, also announced plans to promote its association with the tournament via 'Nokia Ke Asli Champions' campaign providing the consumers an opportunity to showcase the 'Asli Champions' in them.
Select lucky winners will get an opportunity to be part of Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra's 'Champion team' and watch the finals live with her.
ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), the global commercial rights partner of NCL T20, further announced that it will showcase the tournament to fans in more than 174 territories worldwide.
Speaking on the occasion, Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, "Shahrukh Khan is a great fit as the face of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 and we are delighted to have him with us on this fascinating journey.
"The promo which features Shahrukh is already on-air and has received rave reviews. His participation is however not limited to being the public face of NCL T20. As a team owner, I am sure he will be looking forward to Kolkata Knight Riders qualifying for the main edition of the tournament. We wish him the very best for the qualifying round of matches."
D Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India, said, "Cricket holds a special place in the hearts of Indians and we have been associated with it over the years through our association with the T20 World Cup, Kolkata Knight Riders and IPL."
ESPN STAR Sports has lined up a top notch list of cricketing experts who will analyse every nuance of the 29 matches to be played across 4 venues - Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. The line-up includes Harsha Bhogle, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Kepler Wessels, HD Ackerman, Ian Chappell, Tom Moody, Ian Bishop and Alan Wilkins.
The TV ratings of second edition of Champions League Twenty20 saw a 35% increase over the first edition. The combined ratings (all channels) for the 2010 edition was 2.05 as compared to 1.5 for 2009.
Even in terms of reach, the 2010 edition of CL T20 had an increase of 20%. The 2010 edition was watched by 90 million viewers as compared to 74.6 million in 2009.