By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Oct 29 (APP): In a ground-breaking development and for the first time in Pakistan cricket’s history, the Pakistan Cricket Board has signed a three-year agreement with SuperSport that has made South Africa’s leading multi-channel sport network as its broadcast partner in the Africa region for all home international cricket and HBL Pakistan Super League until 2023.
The agreement means SuperSport, one of the world’s most popular and favourite sport channels, will have exclusive rights to televise Pakistan’s home international matches and HBL Pakistan Super League from 2021 to 2023.
The first series of the partnership starts in Rawalpindi on 30 October when Pakistan host Zimbabwe in the first ODI. The series will conclude on 10 November with the third T20I.
As such, from the series against Zimbabwe till the end of December 2022, Pakistan is scheduled to play nine Tests, 20 ODIs and 18 T20Is, meaning 83 days of home international matches.
To top this up with three HBL Pakistan Super League from 2021-2023, the cricket fans in Africa can now brace for aggressive, attractive and competitive cricket from one of the powerhouses of world cricket.
The announcement has come within a month after the Pakistan Cricket Board signed a $200million three-year agreement with PTV Sports and I-Media Communication Services to broadcast Pakistan’s domestic matches.
In line with their World of Champions slogan, SuperSport has grown tremendously in the past 25 years after becoming a single complete channel in 1995 to now boast 19 High Definition sport channels, including a dedicated cricket channel.
On the other 18 channels, SuperSport broadcasts all other sport, including football, tennis, golf, motorsport, boxing, wrestling, hockey, athletics as well as global events such as the summer and winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cups.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said here on Thursday : “We are delighted to partner with a globally-renowned sport network such as SuperSport. This partnership will enable us to showcase our exciting cricketers, 83 days of our home international cricket and HBL Pakistan Super League to the sport-loving Africa region.
“The HBL Pakistan Super League is the PCB’s marquee event in which a big number of foreign cricketers, including from South Africa, take part.
Through SuperSport, the South Africa fans will be able to not only follow the high-octane cricket but also support their favourite players that, in turn, will help the PCB to make HBL Pakistan Super League as one of the top leagues.
“As a broadcast partner in the Africa region, I have no doubt that SuperSport will take full advantage of this partnership by promoting Pakistan cricket across its vast territory.
“The PCB remains committed to strengthening the foundations of Pakistan cricket with sustainability at the core of our five-year strategy.
“This new partnership follows quickly after the domestic $200million deal recently secured with PTV Sports and I-Media Communication Services.
Broadening our revenue streams will not only go a long way to de-risking our business, but it will also support our aim of improving our cricket infrastructure and domestic cricket, as well as enabling us to improve contracts for our men and women players, our coaches and match officials.
“In line with our region-based strategy, the PCB has had positive responses from key sport broadcasters and so we expect to make further announcements in due course.”
Marc Jury, Head of Acquisitions, SuperSport said : “We are very excited to be extending our partnership with the Pakistan Cricket Board for their full international schedule and the HBL Pakistan Super League, more so given that Pakistan will be playing their home matches back in Pakistan.”