When American College Cricket was launched in Oct 2008, it was a revolutionary event for world cricket : only in the USA is college sport the billion $ industry it is, and in putting cricket on such a platform it gave the game a whole new opportunity !
‘We wanted to spur the development of the game everywhere, at the university level. Of course in the US, colleges are often major sports brands too, and universities in India and other countries can seek to emulate them, using cricket,’ American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah said. “Being successful in cricket will be great for raising the profiles of some universities which might not be so well-known, just as college sport does in the US.”
Now cricket powerhouse India’s cricket governing body BCCI and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), are following the lead of American College Cricket, by beginning a Universities Cricket Championship.
BCCI President N Srinivasan said,’For people to see university cricket, which they are not doing now, will be a big difference. I think it will give more opportunity. (TV) Viewership being brought into university cricket is a very big thing.’
American College Cricket initiated TV coverage for university-level through TV Asia, and is represented by Shiv Chanderpaul as a brand ambassador. The UCC will have a high-profile brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan, and be televised by NDTV. Shah Rukh Khan is a co-owner of the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders .
Toyota will be a sponsor for the Indian Universities Championship, whilst in 2012 Coca Cola became the first major American company to sponsor cricket in the USA, by becoming a sponsor of American College Cricket.
Eight teams will compete in the Universities Championship :Awadesh Pratap Singh University, Aligarh Muslim University, Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal U, Mumbai University, Jiwaji University, University of Madras & Jain University.
In 1844 the USA & Canada played the first International sporting event ever, a cricket match, in NYC. Now for the first time since that epochal event, the USA can be said to be leading the cricket world in any way !
The first Toyota UCC will be played in late Feb, whilst the 5th edition of the American College Cricket Championship will be March 13 – 17, & can be seen on TV Asia in USA & Canada.