Over 150 television actors including some of the most popular faces on television including Kamya Punjabi, Barkha Bisht, Sayantani Ghosh, Pratyusha Banerjee, Rohit Reddy, Pooja Gor, Indraneil Sengupta, came together for the launch of Box Cricket League at a suburban hotel in Mumbai last week. A rather new and unique form of cricket, it was launched by Sunny Arora and Anand Mishra of Marinating Films. The directors who had earlier come up with the idea of a Telly Calendar with 12 popular small-screen divas, announced their new venture which aims to create the magic of cricket with television actors.
“It’s exciting because the game is unlike anything seen before. It stands out from regular cricket in many ways. For instance, we have eight members instead of the regular 11 members in a team and it is mandatory that from the eight, two have to be females. From the 11 overs that we have kept for every inning, one over will be bowled by the girls,” said Mishra.
The League already has six teams which have been bought by television actors, while some chose to become brand ambassadors. Kamya Punjabi owns Jaipur Joshiley while Sara Khan is the brand ambassador and captain of Surma Bhoopalis. Barkha Bisht is the captain of Ghaint Punjabis, Karan Mehra of Kolkotta Baabu Mooshayees and Krystle D’Souza of Mumbai Mastram, Rajiv Thakur is the captain of Jaipur Joshiley and Suyash Kumar of Dilli Fukrey.
“Though I cannot divulge how much the owners are paying for a team, since it is the first year we have kept the figures low. Let’s see how successful we are with this experiment. The owners in turn recover their money from sponsors,” revealed Mishra.
The other interesting fact about the game is that instead of being played on a regular cricket field of 450 feet and 500 feet, it will be played in a hall measuring 90 by 90 feet inside Amber Studios in Madh Island, Mumbai! The idea of playing the game indoors germinated when Mishra with his co-workers would play cricket in their office measuring 50 feet in length.
“Both, the girls and guys would play together and we used soft smiley balls to avoid any kind of injury. That’s how the League got its name, Box Cricket League. The rules of the game are the same, and here too, we will use soft smiley balls so that no one is hurt,” informed Mishra.
The matches will kick off on March 23 and and will be held periodically on March 28, 29, 30 and April 4. The semi-finals and finals will be held on April 5 and 6 respectively. All the matches will start at 8pm.
“Presently, they are not being aired on any channel. Though some smaller channels have come forward to air them we are looking at the bigger and popular ones. It’s a property which is sure to grow as many actors are showing interest.”
With popular television faces supporting it, only time will tell, whether this concept will play a long inning and become a hot cricket property.