Media giants STAR group has become the new sponsors of the Board of Control for Cricket in India after Bharti Airtel, the telecommunication service provider, did not renew its contract with the BCCI earlier this year. STAR have bagged the rights for international matches at home till March 2014. They will pay at the base price of Rs 2 crore per fixture.
With the BCCI still dilly-dallying on its 'home' international calendar, India are so far scheduled to play 13 international matches. These include a T20 and seven ODIs versus Australia starting October 10 and a two-Test, three ODI series against the West Indies in November. India are still not sure of travelling to South Africa in December. In case that series fall through, BCCI may host a tri-nation series where Pakistan and Sri Lanka could be the other teams.
According to the BCCI, companies had the option of bidding for either the series between India and Australia, or the series between India and the West Indies, or both. The BCCI's marketing committee in Mumbai on Thursday awarded the title sponsorship rights to STAR and ESPN Software India Private Limited. STAR are already the BCCI's broadcast partners. According to media reports, mobile handset manufacturer Micromax was the only other bidder.