Voice of Sport

Kenya ‘buys’ into Indian Premier League cricket by backing Pune Supergiant

The Kenya Tourism Board [KTB] hopes to benefit from IPL’s global broadcast in over 15 countries and improve numbers of incoming visitors from India one of Kenya’s biggest sources of tourism

‘Magical Kenya’: A poster of England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes in winning action of a match for Rising Pune Supergiant [RPS] in the popular Indian Premier League [T20 cricket]. The RPS franchise wears on the side of their trousers, Kenya Tourism Board’s [KTB] promotion logo; ‘Magical Kenya’
‘The master’ MS Dhoni takes off the bails to remove Kedar Jadhav in the Rising Pune Supergiant v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL match in Pune, April 29, 2017

‘The master’ MS Dhoni takes off the bails to remove Kedar Jadhav in the Rising Pune Supergiant v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL match in Pune, April 29, 2017

THE Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most attended cricket league in the world and ranks sixth overall among all sports events in the world. And Kenyans are buying into it. The Kenya Tourism Board [KTB] hopes to benefit from its global broadcast in over 15 countries in the league series that began in April and will run towards the end of May 2017.

The KTB has allocated about Sh 25 for the destination marketing and promotional campaigns in partnership with the IPL cricket team, the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Kenya is banking on the ongoing cricket season in India to market her tourism products and create interest for travel into the country among the Indians. 

While unveiling the partnership in Pune, India, KTB Chief Executive Officer Betty Radier said the campaign was aimed at increasing Kenya’s brand awareness and familiarity among cricket fans in India, given the popularity of the sport.

Rising Pune Supergiant skipper, Steven Smith, is unsure after taking a diving catch in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 29

Rising Pune Supergiant skipper, Steven Smith, is unsure after taking a diving catch in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 29

India is currently Kenya’s third largest tourist source market with KTB optimistic that engagement with cricket will help in propelling India to achieve number one status in arrivals, next few years. The arrival figures from India to Kenya for the close of the year 2016 posted 64,116 visitors up from 49,756 in 2015, indicating a growth of 28.9%.

“We hope that this association with one of the leading cricket teams in IPL will drive consideration for Kenya as a preferred holiday destination among cricket fans in India”, said Radier. The Supergiant players wear on the thigh of their playing trouser, the KTB promotional logo “Magical Kenya”.

 

So far, Rising Pune Supergiant lie fourth in the eight-team roster and can make the play-off semi-finals if they maintain or better their current position.

Through partnership with the team, the CEO pointed out, KTB expects to reach over 100 million fans through a series of activations in all communication on offline and online platforms jointly undertaken by tour operators including Thomas Cook and Odyssey Travel.

“We also expect to engage with approximately five million consumers through the social media engagements where Indian fans can win a holiday trip to Kenya” added Radier.

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Ajinkya Rahane walks off after top-edging a full toss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Pune, April 29

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Ajinkya Rahane walks off after top-edging a full toss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Pune, April 29

KTB will leverage the partnership with the team for all the brand promotions and activations in social media platforms until  August 31, 2017.

Radier noted that ease of aces to Kenya through the national carrier, Kenya Airways, that flies twice daily from Mumbai to Nairobi among other airlines has contributed to the growth of numbers from the market.

Kenya and India have a long history of cricket engagement especially when Kenya had a world class team that would match the best Indian national team. Kenya reached the semi-finals of the 2003 Cricket World Cup and has the famous scalps including in Pune, India where the Kenyans defeated West Indies by 73 runs in the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

 The Rising Pune Supergiant (abbreviated as RPS) is the IPL team based in Pune, Maharashtra state of India starting 2016. The team along with Gujarat Lions is featuring as two-season replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are suspended due to the involvement in illegal betting by their respective owners.

The Rising Pune Supergiant franchise is owned by RP- Sanjiv Goenka Group controlled by Sanjiv Goenka. The team name was announced (as Rising Pune Supergiants) on 18 January 2016 by Goenka in Kolkata and Raghu Iyer was appointed CEO. The owners changed the team name to Rising Pune Supergiant on March 26, 2017.

Ben Stokes of Rising Pune Supergiant, is pumped up after taking out Jos Buttler of Mumbai Indians in their IPL in Mumbai on April 24, 2017

Ben Stokes of Rising Pune Supergiant, is pumped up after taking out Jos Buttler of Mumbai Indians in their IPL in Mumbai on April 24, 2017

Star players at RPS include England all-rounder Ben Stokes, the highest paid player ($2.2m – Sh220m) in the franchise, Indian icons, the former captain and wicket keeper MS Dhoni, star bowler Ravichandram Ashwin and batsman Ajink Rahane. Other foreign stars are Faf du Plessis (South Africa), Steve Smith of Australia who is the captain and compatriots Mitchel Marsh, Daniel Christian and Usman Khawaja.

Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant is a picture of concentration as he takes a catch against Mumbai Indians in IPL action in Mumbai on April 24, 2017

Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant is a picture of concentration as he takes a catch against Mumbai Indians in IPL action in Mumbai on April 24, 2017

Steven Smith plays a cut during his Rising Pune Supergiant v Royal Challengers Bangalore IPLmatch in Pune on April 29, 2017

Steven Smith plays a cut during his Rising Pune Supergiant v Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL match in Pune on April 29, 2017

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Imran Tahir is thrilled after dismissing Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians in their IPL fixture in Pune on April 24, 2017

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Imran Tahir is thrilled after dismissing Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians in their IPL fixture in Pune on April 24, 2017

SQUAD (Rising Pune Supergiant):

BATSMEN:

1 Ajinkya RAHANE (India), 28, Right-hand bat, Right-arm medium bowl, salary $1.2m

13 Faf du PLESSIS (South Africa), 32, Right-hand bat, Right-arm leg break bowl, $730,000

22 Mayank AGARWAL (India), 26, Right-hand bat, Right-arm leg break, $250,000

45 Manoj TIWARY (India), 31, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break, $77,000

49 Steve SMITH (Australia), 27, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break, $620,000

100 Usman KHAWAJA (Australia), 30, Left-hand, Right-arm medium pace, $150, 000

ALL-ROUNDERS:

5 Baba APARAJITH (India), 22, Right-hand, Right-arm off break, $15,000m

18 Ankit SHARMA (India), 26, Left-hand, Slow-left arm orthodox, $15,000

25 Mitchell MARSH (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $740,000

29 Rajat BHATIA (India), 37, Right-hand, Right-hand medium, $93,000

52 Rahul TRIPATHI (India), 26, Right-hand, Right-arm medium, $15,000

54 Daniel CHRISTIAN (Australia), 33, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $150,000

55 Ben STOKES (England), 25, Left-hand, Right-arm fast-medium, $2.2m

555 Washington SUNDAR (India), 17, Left-hand, Right-arm off break, (Replacement signing)

WICKET-KEEPERS:

7 MS DHONI (India), 35, Right-hand, Right-arm medium, $1.9m

27 Ankush BAINS (India), 21, Right-hand, $15,000

Milind TANDON (India), 23, Right-hand, $15,000

BOWLERS:

1 Rahul CHAHAR (India), Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $15,000

9 Deepak CHAHAR (India), 24, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $15,000

10 Shardul THAKUR (India), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $31,000

11 Ashok DINDA (India), 33, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $77,000

63 Adam ZAMPA (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $46,000

69 Lockie FERGUSON (Australia), 25, Right-hand, Right-arm fast, $77,000

77 Jaydev UNADKAT (India), 25, Right-hand, Left-arm medium fast, $46,000

99 Ravichandram ASHWIN (India), 30, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, $1.2m

999 Imran TAHIR (South Africa), 38, Right-hand, Right-arm leg break googly, (Replacement signing)

Ishwar PANDEY (India), 27, Right-hand, Right-arm medium fast, $31,000

Jaskaran SINGH (India), 25, Left-hand, Left-arm medium fast, $15,000

Saurabh KUMAR (India), 23, Left-hand, Slow left-arm orthodox, $15,000

Teams and standings

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR For Against
Kolkata Knight Riders 10 7 3 0 0 14 +0.849 1698/185.4 1644/198.1
Mumbai Indians 9 7 2 0 0 14 +0.451 1496/172.2 1480/179.5
Sunrisers Hyderabad 10 6 3 0 1 13 +0.794 1602/175.3 1489/178.4
Rising Pune Supergiant 9 5 4 0 0 10 -0.240 1468/179.5 1472/175.1
Kings XI Punjab 9 4 5 0 0 8 +0.228 1410/161.2 1464/172.0
Gujarat Lions 9 3 6 0 0 6 -0.318 1496/170.1 1547/169.5
Royal Challengers Bangalore 10 2 7 0 1 5 -1.578 1245/180.0 1420/167.1
Delhi Daredevils 8 2 6 0 0 4 -0.156 1234/160.0 1133/144.0

As of 30 April 2017

  • The four top ranked teams will qualify for the play-offs

-Additional reporting by Correspondents and Agencies