The year 2020 posed a different challenge to cricket. However, after months of lockdown, fans were finally treated to some electrifying cricket action with the IPL 2020 in the UAE. As a challenging year nears its end, Star Sports, the home of cricket, is all set to treat viewers and fans with yet another doze of breath-taking, edge-of-the-seat action with the Ultimate Kricket Challenge (UKC) that gets underway on December 24th 2020.
The freshly conceptualised format that pits international superstars like Yuvraj Singh, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Rashid Khan against each other in individuals match ups, gives cricket afficionados an exciting end to 2020. Ahead of the tournament, here are top 3 reasons viewers and fans can watch this unique tournament.
World cricket’s biggest names come together under one roof
The stakes are high in the UKC) as the biggest names in world cricket pad up for nail-biting action at Dubai’s Coca-Cola arena. Legends of the game like Yuvraj, Pietersen will be seen again in action to leave their mark on this new format. Yuvraj, India’s 2011 World Cup hero, is particularly eyeing this stint since he hopes to replicate his 2007 T20 World Cup feat of 6 sixes. All eyes will also be on the ‘Universe Boss’, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Rashid Khan, who all have just dished out noteworthy IPL performances and are in top form.
Brad new format with one-on-one match-ups
One-on-one matchups have intrigued cricket fans across the globe. Shortening the game further, the 30-ball tournament will consist 4 innings of 15-balls each in every match. A UKC Contender, also termed Gladiator, can bowl a minimum of 8 balls per innings, while a sub player – an ‘Ace’ – can bowl a maximum of 7 balls per innings. The contender with more runs at the end of each match will be the winner, and 2 points will be awarded for each win in the league stage.
Each player, while bowling, will be assisted by one fielder and one wicketkeeper inside the dome. A Contender, while batting, can gain run(s) only after they complete a physical run. If a batter, who hits the Bullseye (behind the bowler) scores 12 runs, gains an extra ball to play. Bullseye on the square of wickets will get the batter 4 runs and every time a batter gets out; 5 runs will be deducted from the total. Scoring is divided in to 6 scoring zones:
Action-packed UKC rivalries
Yuvraj rivalry with English players has very well documented throughout his career. Taking a step further, this one pits the southpaw with English batting legend Pietersen. The clash between Yuvi and KP will be highly anticipated and it sure will be a visual treat for viewers and fans. Another interesting rivalry will be between Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid and England’s ODI skipper Morgan. One of the most successful bowlers in T20s taking on the guile of Morgan will be a keenly contested contest. It will be interesting to see if Rashid can stem the run flow from the willow of an explosive batsman like captain Morgan.
(The Ultimate Kricket Challenge will air from December 24 to January 1, 2021, everyday exclusively on the Star Sports and Disney+ Hotstar at 9:30 PM)