ESPN to telecast Afro-Asia Cup
The Afro-Asia Cup cricket series involving teams from the two continents from June 6-12 will be telecast live on ESPN Star Sports, which won the rights after the Asian Cricket Council scrapped an earlier deal with sports broadcaster Nimbus.
The ACC on Thursday said it ended a deal with Nimbus as it failed to fulfil contractual obligations. The telecast rights for the series hosted by India this year were awarded to ESPN Star Sports (ESS).
"They (Nimbus) did not fulfil their contractual obligations... But it is always painful to terminate contracts," ACC CEO Syed Ashraful Huq said from Kuala Lumpur.
He, however, declined to share details of the scrapped contract with Nimbus citing confidentiality clause. He also did not reveal financial details of ACC's new deal with ESS.
On Wednesday, Nimbus had said that it will not be part of the event, which starts on June 6 in Bangalore. Matches would also be played in Chennai.
"We will not be telecasting the event. Neither will we be producing nor bringing sponsorship for the matches," Nimbus chief Harish Thawani said.
The tournament had lost its sheen due to pullout of big stars and industry insiders say this could be one of the reasons for Nimbus' loss of interest in the event.
Huq, however, flatly denied it and said ACC was aiming for much higher viewership through its new partner ESS.
"I don't think this is the case. You cannot force players to play. In the last edition, Rahul (Dravid) and Sachin Tendulkar did not play but the tournament was still a success," he said.