India’s high-profile cricketers like Virat Kohli are yet to enter Australia’s Big Bash League and it is always difficult to give a sense of belonging to the Indian cricket loving diaspora without the presence of their stars.
But thanks to Hindi, Cricket Australia (CA) is successfully attracting thousands of Indians living Down Under to their T20 league. CA tried the Hindi commentary as an experiment during the final of the 2015 edition. Last season and this y ear, all the matches have live Hindi commentary.
Indian cricketers have stayed away from Big Bash League due to a packed domestic and international schedule and the Indian cricket board has also told its cricketers to stay away fearing burnout.
Introduction of live Hindi commentary on its digital platform has helped Cricket Australia generate a huge following of the BBL among the Indians living in Australia. “We take great pride in the quality and excitement generated throughout the coverage of our BBL and women’s BBL matches,” Anthony Everard, Head of the Big Bash League, told HT. “This is an exciting addition to our existing suite of options and adds further diversity of choice for our many thousands of Hindi speaking fans.”
The commentary is available by downloading the Cricket Australia Live App. It becomes visible once the matches start.
From December 20 last year to January 28, 35 BBL matches involving eight teams have managed to attract cricketer lovers worldwide. However, for the financial success of the league, a strong Indian viewership remains the key. Close to half a million people of Indian origin live in Australia.
“Through our broadcast partners, both here in Australia and around the world, as well as our own digital channels, Cricket Australia has made the BBL and WBBL more accessible to our fans no matter where they are,” said Ben Amarfio — Executive General Manager, Media, Communications (CA) “We want to be a sport for all Australians and initiatives such as this are a key part of our strategy to embrace multicultural Australia.”