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Cine Stars & Cricketers for PHL (12/7/2006)
New Delhi, December 7: Another effort to boost hockey, despite Doha hiccups. The ESPN-STAR SPORTS announces the brand ambassadors for each team in the league, who will help uplift the team spirit and provide popular support to the teams off the field.

These ambassadors have been chosen for their love of the game as well as for the passion they show for their regions. Southern movie superstar Madhavan will throw his lot behind the Chennai Veerans while the eternal loverboy of Bollywood Jimmy Shergill roots for Sher-e-Jalandar. Likewise, VVS Laxman will back Hyderabad Sultans, Ravi Shastri will support Maratha Warriors, Debashish Mohanty will back Orissa Steelers while Prakash Padukone will champion the cause of Bangalore Lions.

Announcing the official brand ambassadors for each team of the premier league, R C Venkateish, Managing Director of ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd said, “Since each ambassador also hails from the region and is equally passionate about seeing his ‘state team’ win, we will surely have an exciting contest on our hands. The regional pride of actually witnessing your team perform well has motivated them to stand up and be counted. These ambassadors are people who have achieved excellence in their own field and are the achievers par excellence, who believe that Indian hockey is headed for an exciting new phase.”

Speaking on the future of Indian hockey broadcasting, Venkateish added, “ESPN Star Sports remains committed to the cause of Indian hockey and to bring world-class production qualities into hockey broadcasting. PHL started small a few years back but has now transformed itself into a much-awaited contest that has viewers glued to their TV sets. We believe that each team ambassador will add to the value we bring to the viewer.”

Star Indian batsman VVS Laxman who will support Hyderabad Sultans, said, “Hyderabad is home for me and this is a wonderful opportunity to be associated with my home hockey team. PHL is a good concept and I am sure that it will do Indian hockey a world of good. I look forward to actively cheer my home side.”

Commenting on the relationship, R Madhavan, the southern movie superstar, said, “I am delighted to be associated with Chennai Veerans, place where my heart is. I am sure that Chennai people share the same pride as I do in supporting the team.”

Cricket commentator and former India cricket captain Ravi Shastri who has been interested in hockey since a long time now, commented on how PHL will change the future of Indian hockey. He said, “A strong internal competition will throw up players who then go on to become a force to reckon with in the international arena. PHL will be the genesis of the revival of Indian hockey and will hopefully carry the Indian national hockey side to important victories in tournaments abroad.”

Speaking on the occasion, Jimmy Shergill said, “It’s my pleasure to be associated with the boys of Sher-e-Jalandar & Chandigarh Dynamos and we Punjabis usually play to win. I’m sure my home side will proudly hold the Punjabi spirit and pride high.”

Each team ambassador will participate in events concerning their respective teams and will be the official brand ambassador for their sides.

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