The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 19 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pitch perfect for tinsel stars

- Manoj or Riteish, it’s celeb ties on Feb. 24

Ranchi, get ready to stargaze on the greens as India’s two biggest passions cinema and cricket meet on the same pitch.

After its dream ODI debut on January 19, Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium complex in Ranchi will host two T20 Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) matches, season 3, on February 24.

CCL-3 2013 has an eight-team tournament schedule starring actors from Bollywood as well as regional film industries. It started on February 9 in Kochi and will end on March 10 in Hyderabad.

Addressing the media on Monday afternoon, Nishant Dayal of Elite Sports Management, the agency handling the event in Ranchi, spoke on the two matches to be played at the JSCA stadium.

Cricket buffs can catch Team Riteish Deshmukh versus Team Manoj Tiwary and the battle between southern superstars Venkatesh and Sudeep.

First, Telugu Warriors will fight the willow war with Karnataka Bulldozers at 3pm. From 7pm, Veer Marathi take on Bhojpuri Dabanggs.

Bhojpuri Dabanggs — making their debut in CCL this season and winning both their matches so far — are expected to be Ranchi favourites. The team has two Bhojpuri superstars — Manoj Tiwary and Ravi Kishan — besides well-known names like Dinesh Lal Yadav.

Bhojpuri Dabanggs co-owner and team skipper Tiwari, who has a strong fan base as an actor-singer of Bhojpuri cinema, will launch his team in Ranchi on Wednesday.

JSCA chief Amitabh Choudhary received the proposal from CCL in the first week of February for holding matches. Since then, CCL officials paid visits to Ranchi and matches were finalised.

Tickets started being sold from February 16. “Around 50 per cent of the 40,000-seater stadium is blocked for VIPs, corporate bookings and the like. Around 20,000 tickets, sold at stadium counters and Eylex, are up for grabs. Prices range from Rs 300 to Rs 1,200,” he said, adding they would launch three special roadshows from Tuesday.

“Only VIPs and special guests will be allowed to enter the stadium from north gates. The rest will enter via south, east and south-west gates. Except bag, key chains and mobile phones, nothing else will be allowed inside, while 250 private security guards and local administration staff will be deputed during the ties. Entry to the stadium will begin at 12.30pm. We promise affordable food kiosks at every gallery, unlike in the India-England ODI,” Dayal said.

On celebrity-spotting, Radisson Blu hotel is the place to be between February 23 and 25.

“Generally, star occupancy details come a couple of days before their arrival. We haven’t got the entire list. Genelia D’Souza will accompany her husband Riteish Deshmukh. The buzz is strong that superstar Salman Khan, his brother Sohail Khan and other biggies are likely to come,” he said.

Sohail, superstar Salman’s brother, co-owns Mumbai Heroes. Other well-known backers include Tiwary (Bhojpuri Dabanggs), Boney and Sridevi Kapoor (Bengal Tigers) and Deshmukh (Veer Marathi).

Ranchi, which will see four teams in action on one day, will miss the other four — Mumbai Heroes, Bengal Tigers, Kerala Strikers and Chennai Rhinos.

Mumbai Heroes, obviously, has the most stars.

Fans of Tollywood, the Bengali film industry, will also miss cricketing action of two of its hottest stars ruling the box office — Jeet and Jisshu Sengupta.