New Delhi, September 23: Barabati Stadium in Cuttack will host the final of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) on October 5 even as legendary cricketers described the League as “serious” business where the superstars do not yield an inch without a fight.
While former India batter Mohammed Kaif covered a lot of ground near the fence before taking a diving catch and made the fans nostalgic about his brilliant fielding skills, the swashbuckler Yusuf Pathan has been playing as if he has never retired.
Stars like Kevin O’Brien and Ashley Nurse have also hit scintillating centuries.
All this has generated a tremendous response from the fans, said Raman Raheja, the co-founder and CEO of Legends League Cricket.
“We have received a tremendous response both from the in-stadium audience and TV ratings. We have got the TV ratings for the first match. We have outdone ourselves.
“It is five times higher than last season in terms of ratings. We have also retained the position of being the second-most watched T20 league in India after the IPL and our digital footprint has crossed six hundred million,” he said.
The on-going season has recorded massive 16 million-plus unique viewers on the digital streaming platforms in India and its digital footprints have also crossed 600 million fans across the world.
According to the latest Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) TV ratings, the opening match of the season between India Maharajas and World Giants, played at Eden Gardens with the world’s greatest players taking part in it, has garnered higher ratings than any other on-going cricket league in the country.
England’s Graeme Swann has also been trying to deceive the batters with off-spin, just like the way he used to do when playing for his country.
Swann, who is representing the Gujarat Giants, said that the competitiveness on the ground is spilling onto the practice nets as he has been training hard.
“It is a brilliant tournament, it shocked me with how competitive it is. I thought it would be easier on the body,” Swann told a press conference in New Delhi.
Bhilwara Kings’ pacer S Sreesanth said the legendary players are hitting the gym regularly.
“It's not a charity game, everybody is at the gym, training... I am surprised that I am bowling with the same vigour and speed that I used to bowl when I was playing for the country,” Sreesanth said.
Swann’s Gujarat teammate and former Sri Lanka mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis spoke on the same lines.
“Everyone is playing very serious cricket here. A lot of the legends are still very dangerous on the ground. I am excited to play in this tournament.”