Karachi: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Knock Out tournament to be played in Nairobi, Kenya, next month will not have a title sponsor and the one million dollar prize money will be generated solely through the sale of television rights. A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman said unlike the inaugural edition in Dhaka in 1998, which was title-sponsored by Indian tobacco giants ITC, next month's competition would not have any title sponsor since the TV rights-holder had decided against projecting any one sponsor. The Kenya Cricket Association is organising the competition in association with the ICC, promising 50 per cent of the earnings to the Asian Cricket Council as development funds, NNI news agency said. This assurance had been given in a letter sent to the chairman of the ACC, Lt. Gen.
Tauqir Zia, after Asian nations Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh threatened to boycott the tournament if their demand for such funds was not met by the ICC. The PCB official said he believed despite distributing 50 per cent of the earnings to the Asian bloc, the ICC still stood to make a handsome gain from the Knock Out competition which runs from October 3 to 15 with 11 nations, including hosts Kenya, competing. He explained while there would be no direct corporate sponsorship in the event, the World Sports Group (WSG) - the event managers - had assured they would earn enough from the sale of TV rights throughout the world. The WSG clinched the TV rights to the next two World Cups ahead of Indian TV giant Zee.
A total of $ 1 million is to be doled out in prize money to the participating teams and this figure exceeds all those at stake in any other cricket competition excluding the World Cup. The last World Cup in England carried a total purse of one million pounds. In Nairobi, a sum of $ 20,000 will be guaranteed to each team taking part in the competition, with prize-money rising substantially with each win. The winners of the qualifying rounds will each receive $ 30,000 while a further $ 40,000 will be claimed by teams winning the quarter-finals.
The semi-final winners will get another $ 50,000 and the winners of the final will receive a $ 250,000 bonus. This means the eventual champions will receive a total of $ 340,000, or $ 370,000 if they figure in a qualifying match. "These are substantial financial rewards for the teams and we believe it'll result in the Knock Out event becoming a successful and popular event on the cricket calendar," remarked the PCB official.
He pointed out that in the final, the difference between winning and losing was worth $ 110,000, so there was much to play for. "The prize money has more than doubled since the '98 tournament in Bangladesh, where the prize money totaled $ 400,000 and the winners, South Africa, received $ 140,000. Keeping in mind that when the first World Cup was held in 1975, winners West Indies received 4,000 ($ 5,760) with runners-up Australia taking home 2,000, the sport clearly has come a long way since then in terms of money. India Abroad News Service