Zee TV, the flagship Hindi general entertainment channel from Zee Entertainment Enterprises, has announced the launch of a unique content innovation, 'Zee 20 Cricket League'.
As the match is weaved into the storyline, the man who wins the match will walk away with Avani, the female protagonist of the show. 'Zee cricket tournament' with the drama will be aired on May 24 and 25 at 6.30 pm.
This is not the first time that the channel has taken up an offbeat route to popularise its content. Earlier, it organised an on-ground event to solemnize the marriage of the lead protagonists of its primetime show 'Pavitra Rishta', inviting the masses to bless Manav (played by Sushant Singh Rajput) and Archana (played by Ankita Lokhande) as they tied the nuptial knot.
The channel further went on to air 'Mahasangams', an episode that captured an "exciting" interplay between the ongoing tracks and the actors of two of its shows.
Namit Sharma, programming head, Zee TV, says, "The cricket fever is at its peak at the moment. Television audiences in India love their stars, the drama surrounding their lives and they love cricket. What we have in store for them is a double whammy of drama and cricket with some of their most favourite faces on television playing their favourite sport. This is the first time ever that a Hindi GEC has managed to assemble the most popular stars from all its shows and get them to play a 20-over match."
According to Sharma, the game will be peppered with interesting twists and turns that blend seamlessly into the ongoing tracks of each of its shows. "There will be so many interesting aspects such as the commentary, performances by cheerleaders, locker-room dynamics between the characters that form a team, issues like cheating, sabotage and match fixing. Each of our actors will be completely in character. The entire drama of Zee TV's most popular shows will unfold against the canvas of India's favourite sport and we're certain that the audience will relish this most entertaining spectacle!" he adds.
On the marketing front, the promos of the cricket league will run on key news channels and kids' channels for three days, nearing the telecast of the league. There will be print insertions in key publications on May 24 and social buzz on Facebook and Twitter.
The two teams are called 'Raj Ke Challengers' and 'Samarth ke Daredevils'. Raj's team includes Mrunal Thakur (Bulbul of Kumkum Bhagya), Ankit Gera (Mayank of Sapne Suhaane Ladakpan Ke), Neha Marda (Urmi of Doli Armaanon Ki), Arhaan Behl (Raghu of Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se), Baburam of Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se and Ashish Chowdhry (who plays Raghav in Ek Muthi Aasman).
Meanwhile, Samarth's team includes Shabbir Ahluwalia (Abhi of Kumkum Bhagya), Rachana Parulekar (Kalpi of Ek Muthi Aasman), Roopal Tyagi (Gunjan of Sapne Suhaane Ladakpan Ke), Mohit Malik (Samrat of Doli Armaanon Ki), Supriya Shukla (Sarla of Kumkum Bhagya) and Aahil of Qubool Hai.
The young girls of every show - Pooki of Ek Muthi Aasman, Pari of Pavitra Rishta, Shivani of Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se, Payal of Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, Aalia of Kumkum Bhagya and Shazia of Qubool Hai - will doll up as the cheerleaders and do a lively routine to motivate their respective teams.
Comedian Suresh Menon will don multiple avatars, ranging from Amitabh Bachchan to Sachin Tendulkar, to entertain the audience. Usha Nadkarni's character of Savita Tai from Pavitra Rishta will support him.