Actors to start Celebrity cricket league

The IPL tournament may have played bogeyman as it emptied theatres but film stars, producers and showbiz people left scared of losing audiences to the cricket craze are taking the beast by the horns. Come January and actors across Bollywood, Tollywood, the Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam film industries are set to give IPL a run for its money. Reliable sources confirm that the film industries are coming together to form the Celebrity Cricket League (CCL).
Raadan pictures, Sprint Telefilms and a few corporate bodies will make up CCL Pvt Limited with city based Vishnu Induri as the co-founder. CCL will have five teams — one each for Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood and Sandalwood with teams of actors representing their respective industries playing the CCL T-20 challenge.
By the first week of December, there will be a bidding for franchises to own these celeb teams. Of the bidding amount, 60 percent will go towards the fees of the actors association of each film industry, who will ensure their actors play in the matches.
The rest of the amount will go as remuneration to the ‘star’ cricketers.
Sources say, unlike in IPL, there will no auction of players as it might hurt the ‘egos’ of the stars. Franchises will choose their team in concordance with the actor associations. They also suggest that the Kannada film artistes’ association and Tamil Nadigar Sangham have already agreed to send their actors for the CCL. In Bollywood a big superstar is planning to take on the responsibility of getting the stars together and even purchasing the Bollywood team. The Tollywood and Kollywood Movie Artistes’ Associations have yet to confirm their participation.
Vishnu Induri the co-founder of CCL confirmed the inception of Celebrity Cricket League Pvt Ltd, “I’ve had this plan a long while and with the success of IPL, we decided to form Celebrity Cricket League. We will soon be making an official announcement.”
Industry sources say, the actors will not have a problem with the match schedules as the matches will only be held on six days a year.
“Cinema and cricket are the two most powerful religions in India and the combo will work magic. It will help actors expand their market as people from across the country will watch these matches,” said a source.
Once the bidding is done in December and star players from the five industries are confirmed, the matches will take place and also be telecast on regional channels and a national channel too.
Of the money got through bidding, 40 per cent will go towards expenses and the rest will go towards remuneration of stars and as fee to the actors associations.
Actor Ambarish, president of the Kannada actors association has confirmed the participation of Kannada and Tamil stars. “Once we get the confirmation from Tollywood and Kollywood, we will start the bidding process” informed Mr Srinivas Moorthy, director, CCL Pvt Ltd told this correspondent.
With actors coming together to play cricket from most powerful film industries in the country, it is sure to be bigger hits than their movies themselves.

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