Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 27 : Having all the trappings of a global spectacle, Kerala Tourism Champions Boat League (CBL), India’s first-ever water-based boat racing patterned on the IPL format of cricket, will make its debut next month.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will flag off the event on August 10, on the sidelines of the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Alappuzha, in the presence of Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Every detail has been worked out meticulously for the hassle-free conduct of the event. The preparations are moving to the final stages, Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran told a press conference here on Saturday, disclosing the structure, schedule and other details of the three-month-long event.
“CBL will bring benefit to all stake-holders. In normal situation, the rowers used to benefit just from a single day’s work in a year. However, through CBL they will be able to make handsome gains,” he said. Mr Surendran also launched the website (www.championsboatleague.in) and jerseys for the oarsmen of the nine teams, besides unveiling the trophy of CBL and releasing a promo video of the event. State Tourism Secretary Ms Rani George and Tourism Director P Bala Kiran were also present.
The nine teams for the first edition of the boat race will be put up for bidding for franchisee acquisition at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty on August 1 (Thursday). Originally, the auction was scheduled to be held on July 29. Several Indian corporates with interest in national sports leagues have evinced keen interest in acquisition of the teams. Celebrities have also shown interest in associating with the event. Bidders can share their Expression of Interest on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A game-changing initiative, CBL will give a fillip to Kerala’s famous but largely scattered snake boat races by professionalizing and commercializing the event on the lines of IPL. Significantly, it will add a fascinating tourism product with an enormous potential to attract visitors from far and wide during Kerala’s prolonged monsoon (June to late October), considered as lean tourist period. Once the event is firmly entrenched, it will make the state a truly 365-day destination of irresistible charm.
There is a total of Rs 5.9 crore prize money for CBL which makes it the fourth highest in all sports in India. The first three winners of each match will get Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, and Rs 1 lakh respectively. Moreover, all participants will get a bonus cash prize of Rs 4 lakh for each match. (UNI)