Sony, Ten Sports compete to clinch India cricket series

January 18th, 2009 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 18 (IANS) Sony Corporation and Ten Sports are reportedly competing heavily to clinch the international television rights for the upcoming five one-day series against India, with Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) bids for the sponsorship rights for the hastily arranged series, closing Monday.According to a local media report, Sony Corporation is expected to be “the front-runner at this bid where SLC was looking out for a price of $12-13 million”.

“However, it is learnt that Ten Sports whose rights were cancelled by the SLC under the chairmanship of Ranatunga (who was sacked later) has the matching rights and is determined to clinch the deal at any cost,” the Sunday Times newspaper here said.

“SLC which was looking into an empty barrel a few weeks ago with no bidders for sponsorships is all smiles once again with its luck changing - at least for the time being,” the report said.

SLC chief executive officer (CEO) Duleep Mendis has said that for the tours at hand with Pakistan and India, Dialogue Telekom has stepped in as a team sponsor with a Rs.10 million package while MAS Holdings has extended its jersey sponsorship.

“It is encouraging that we have these two packages for a start. However, once the Indian tour is over, we will once again call for fresh bids for the full sponsorship packages,” Mendis has been quoted as saying.

The Indian squad will arrive in Sri Lanka, Jan 26. The first two one-dayers will be played in Dambulla (Jan 28 and 30), while the remaining three games will be held in Colombo, Feb 2, 5 and 8.

The only Twenty20 international will be played in Colombo Feb 10 and all matches will be played under lights except the fifth one-dayer.

The series was scheduled after India cancelled its tour to Pakistan in January-February following the Mumbai terror attacks.

Sri Lanka, which narrowly won the triangular series in Bangladesh Friday, will play three ODIs with Pakistan starting Jan 21 before coming back home to host India. The island nation squad will again fly back to Pakistan in February to play two Tests.

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