Calcutta: Lynette Waugh’s steady recovery after brain surgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney strongly suggests that talismanic husband Steve’s India-centric reality show on TV (a talent hunt, really) won’t be put on hold.
“As she’s doing fine, we don’t expect the surgery to come in the way of what is being finalised,” somebody closely associated with the project told The Telegraph on Saturday.
It’s not confirmed, but the show — a build-up for the 2007 World Cup — is likely to be called Sport*Star Cricket, which is a registered brand of the Singapore-headquartered Imagine OmniMedia Pte Ltd.
Steve’s inspiration, it seems, has been the Rock*Star show.
Planning obviously is at an advanced stage and, till Lynette’s illness, Steve was giving personal attention to the “content” — particularly the skills that ought to be tested.
Buddy and one-time teammate Gavin Robertson is also on board.
Steve has even approached three-four former India players, who’re comfortable with the medium, to join his show which may be aired from November.
A formal announcement is expected once the broadcaster is decided upon. The centres (possibly five) for the talent hunt, too.
Negotiations with potential broadcasters are at a “sensitive stage.”
Again, it’s not official, but prizes could include training at academies in Australia and the UK, besides the opportunity to play grade cricket Down Under.
Steve has, of course, approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its “endorsement.” The proposal put forward, though, isn’t detailed enough.
“Mr Waugh has been asked to submit a full-fledged one… Once received, I’ll place it before my committee… I’m just a vetting board,” informed vice-president and marketing committee chairman Lalit Modi.
Speaking from Mumbai, he added that the BCCI’s “stamp of approval” wasn’t necessary. It would, however, be needed if Steve wants to use the infrastructure anywhere.
“We’re ready to help anybody who wishes to promote and showcase cricket at the grassroots… It has to be serious stuff…” Modi pointed out.
He revealed that the peerless Sunil Gavaskar had already submitted a “detailed proposal” for another reality show.
It’s going to be placed before the marketing committee which meets in Chennai early next week.
Steve is ahead of Gavaskar in the Test run-getters’ list (10,927 vis-à-vis 10,122), but Little Master No.1 has made a headstart on a different pitch.
Footnote: Steve, one learns, had to charter a flight from Melbourne when Lynette got hospitalised for immediate surgery. While she’s much better, barring the immediate family, visitors are still not allowed.