Actor Akshay Kumar claims Hockey India League has potential to change face of hockey

New Delhi, Jan.23 (ANI-Business Wire India): STAR Sports, Asia's leading sports broadcaster, today announced a promotional tie-up with leading Bollywood Superstar Akshay Kumar for the first edition of Hockey India League (HIL).

Kumar, who is popularly known for his blockbuster Bollywood hits and hard hitting action roles, will be promoting the league through specially crafted promotional spots.

He will also use this opportunity to promote his upcoming movie 'Special 26'. The movie is scheduled to be released on 8th of February 2013.

Speaking on the occasion, Akshay Kumar, said, "I am glad to be associated with this spectacular event. I am a sportsperson by heart and it is good to see world class hockey action across cities in the country. I have seen some of the matches and loved what I saw. The quality of action is amazing as you see the best of players in the world showcase their talent on the turf. Day before yesterday's match between Mumbai Magicians and Delhi Waveriders was a blockbuster with two evenly balanced teams scoring as many as 10 goals between them.

This is exactly the kind of hockey which will attract the youth of today. This league has the potential to change the face of hockey in the country. I will follow as many matches as I can and I think we have here a recipe for a very successful property for years to come."

Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, said, "We are delighted to be associated with Akshay Kumar for Hockey India League. We will leverage the India England ODI series to promote this association. Akshay will be seen in specially crafted promotional spots for HHIL which will be played during the 4th ODI while a special on-air integration is being planned for the last ODI as well."

Prior to the commencement of the tournament, STAR Sports has unveiled former India cricketer and Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu as the brand ambassador for the Hero Hockey India League.

For providing viewers with a sharp, incisive and engaging view of the game both in Hindi and English language, STAR Sports have put in place an illustrious panel of experts comprising former hockey players who are doing commentary on live telecast as well as pre and post-match analysis throughout the league.

The Hindi commentary panel includes eminent former Indian Hockey players like Mir Ranjan Negi, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh. The English commentary panel comprises of Viren Rasquinha, Cedric D'Souza, AB Subbaiah and Sandeep Somesh.

As official broadcasters for the HHIL, STAR Sports is showcasing hockey in a completely new avatar offering a TV experience relevant to India's young sports audience. The channel also has HD production supported by new camera angles for sharper imagery to sustain viewer interest through the league.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) sanctioned 'Hero Hockey India League' is a truly global league with players from as many as 11 countries. The first edition has witnessed participation from 5 teams namely Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos. (ANI-Business Wire India)

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