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India’s UTV Bindass unveils cricket reality TV show

'Cricket Champs', a reality television show hoping to discover new cricketing talent in India, will hit the subcontinent's TV screens later this month.

UTV Bindass will air the programme from 17 January, in association with New Delhi-based Indraprastha All India Sports Foundation.

"There is a definite attraction for such a show on cricket. Our main target audience at UTV Bindass is the youth, who will be happy to see revered icons like Irfan Pathan mentoring young cricket enthusiasts on how to play professionally," Keith Alphonso, the channel's business head told news agency IANS.

In addition to Irfan Pathan, cricketers such as Yusuf Pathan, Keerti Aazad and Piyush Chawla will be mentors on the reality show.

Cricket Champs will hunt for players in the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Bangalore and Patna, as well as in the states of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The TV show will feature eight teams, formed of players aged under 16 or under 22, and the overall winner will be awarded a prize of INR 1 million.

"Cricket is a religion in India. So after music and dance reality shows, it was time do a reality show on cricket. Like the Indian Idol, this is a version of cricket idol," Rohini Rajdev, chairperson, Indraprastha All India Sports Foundation, told IANS.

"Through the show, we are not promising a place in the Indian cricket team. But it will prove to be a worthy platform where they can show their talent, learn new things and prove themselves," added Rajdev.

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