CBL to Mark Monsoon Season on World Tourism calendar
Kochi: Having all the trappings of a global spectacle, Kerala Tourism’s Champions Boat League (CBL), India’s first-ever boat racing modelled on the IPL format of cricket, will make its debut in August.Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, will flag off the event on August 10, on the sidelines of the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha, in the presence of Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
“Every detail has been worked out meticulously for the hassle-free conduct of the event. The preparations are moving to the final stages," said Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, at a press conference, disclosing the structure, schedule and other details of the three-month-long event.
“CBL will bring benefit to all stakeholders. In normal situation, the rowers used to benefit just from a single day’s work in a year. However, through CBL they will be able to make handsome gains,” the minister added.
He also launched the website (www.championsboatleague.in) and jerseys for the oarsmen of the nine teams, besides unveiling the trophy of CBL and releasing a promo video of the event. Rani George IAS, State Tourism Secretary and P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Tourism were also present at the launch event.
A game-changing initiative, CBL will give a fillip to Kerala’s famous snake boat races by professionalizing and commercializing the event on the lines of IPL. It could also become a fascinating tourism product with an enormous potential to attract visitors from far and wide during Kerala’s prolonged monsoon season, considered as lean tourist period.
There is a total of Rs. 5.9-crore prize money for CBL which makes it the fourth highest in all sports in India. The first three winners of each match will get Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 3 lakh, and Rs. 1 lakh respectively. Moreover, all participants will get a bonus cash prize of Rs. 4 lakh for each match.
For the glitch-free conduct of the sporting extravaganza, Kerala Tourism has formed a government-owned private limited company. An agency consortium, led by E Factor Entertainment and The Social Street, has been selected as consultant.
Staggered over nearly three months, the high-stakes popular event will witness nine teams participating in 12 races across 12 locations on 12 weekends, from August 10 until November 1. There will be live broadcast of the races.
Apart from creating a new visual experience for the visitors, CBL will also benefit local communities in various ways. The league has been structured without compromising on the social aspects and local involvement in the boat races.
All races will be held in the afternoons: between 2.30 pm and 5 pm. The CBL winner will get a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh, while those finishing second and third will receive Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh, respectively.