Star Sports is on a record creating spree for the Indian Premier League ever since the 21st Century Fox-owned broadcaster had acquired the absolute broadcast rights for the biggest professional league in cricket for ₹16,347.5 crore.
The Indian Premier League is heading for another first under the Star Sports banner as for the first time a 100-strong commentary panel has been engaged for the live broadcast in six languages.
The 24 commentators for the world feed include the likes of foreign internationals like Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Murali Kartik, L Sivaramakrishnan. Brett Lee, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Dean Jones, Simon Doull, Scott Styris, Danny Morrison, Ian Bishop and Pommie Mbangwa are among the international players on the panel.
The world feed commentators also include four former international women cricketers – Lisa Sthalekar, Melanie Jones, Anjum Chopra, Isa Guha. Harsha Bhogle will be the only non-cricketer in the 24-strong panel for the IPL world feed.
The original list also included Jonty Rhodes, but the former South African batsman has opted out from the commentary panel.
Following Rhodes exit, the complete world feed panel will be: Sunil Gavaskar (India), Manjrekar (India), Murali Kartik (India), Harsha Bhogle (India), L Sivaramakrishnan (India), Rohan Gavaskar (India), Deep Das Gupta (India) and Anjum Chopra (India). Simon Doull (New Zealand), Danny Morison (New Zealand), Mpumelelo ‘Pommie’ Mbangwa (Zimbabwe), Michael Slater (Australia), Brett Lee (Australia), Matthew Hayden (Australia), Michael Clarke (Australia), Lisa Sthalekar (Australia), Melanie Jones (Australia), Michael Vaughn (England), David Lloyd (England) Kevin Pietersen (England), Nasser Hussain (England), Isha Guha (England), Greame Smith (South Africa) and Ian Bishop (West Indies).
The world feed commentary has no names from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The regional language commentary team will be a mix of cricketers and non-cricketers. “Star India had a couple of weeks back conducted a commentators workshop in Mumbai. Several well established, non-cricketer names, who have over the year become the voices of non-cricket leagues in India, were also called for the workshop. But, the Star TV management had later decided to have only Bhogle as the non-cricketer commentator for the World Feed,” a source associated with the work had confirmed to insidesport.co.
The broadcaster has scheduled a dinner-cum-workshop for the IPL commentary team early next week.
Star Sports, targeting over 700 million viewers, will broadcast the IPL over 10 network channels in six languages along with the digital simulcast on its VOD platform Hotstar.