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ESPNCricinfo launches 'Match Point with Manjrekar

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 15, 2013
Match Point with Manjrekar offers live studio analysis with veteran cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, along with ESPN Cricinfo experts.

Cricket website ESPNCricinfo.com has launched live video analysis of the game called Match Point with Manjrekar. Veteran cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar along with ESPN Cricinfo experts will debate and discuss numbers and statistics, player styles, techniques of the ongoing test series between West Indies and India, and more importantly, Sachin Tendulkar's farewell.

Match Point with Manjrekar

Sambit Bal

The show is being webcast live from the website's Bengaluru centre and recorded content is also posted on the site. The programme follows the same pattern as television, offering discussions before a match commences, during lunch and after the match is over for the day.

Match Point was launched on the first day of the first test between India and West Indies on November 6 and featured Sanjay Manjrekar, known to call it as he sees it, as the expert voice in the studio with Rahul Dravid providing end-of-day analysis from the venue. The website has GE as its video partner, but has not signed on a sponsor for the video programme.

For the second test, the website has reinforced the expert pool with Ajit Agarkar joining Manjrekar in the studio, and Michael Holding and Jeffery Dujon, two great West Indian cricketers, offering regular comments through video links.

Speaking about the launch, Sambit Bal, editor-in-chief, ESPN Cricinfo, says, "Cricinfo's main USP is content and Match Point is yet another pioneering content initiative from us. It brings together, for the first time on a digital platform, live studio-quality match analysis during cricket matches. And with Sachin Tendulkar playing his final test in Mumbai, there is special resonance to having two of his Mumbai and India teammates in the studio. Between them, Manjrekar and Agarkar have shared the dressing room with Tendulkar for more than 25 years and, over the duration of the test, will share a number of stories and observations about him."

The programme will go live on November 14-18 and people can also enjoy the recordings later on the website. The company also plans to extend the format to cover all matches being played.

In a recent interview, when asked about plans to do video coverage, Bal said that as far as India is concerned, live video on TV is fairly cheap, whereas in the US, cricket is not there on TV at all and that is where it makes sense to have live video streaming for the users. The website owns the video rights of all ICC events for telecast in the US.

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