The unique star-studded event gets underway from Thursday
The unique star-studded event gets underway from Thursday

Cricket needs to innovate if it wants to be part of Olympics, says UKC chairman

By Vishesh Roy | Updated: Dec 24, 2020 15:24 IST

New Delhi [India], December 24 (ANI): Ravi Tharkran, chairman of the Ultimate Kricket Challenge (UKC), believes that the sport of cricket needs to keep on innovating if it wants to be a part of the Olympics going ahead.
Yuvraj Singh, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, and Rashid Khan will be seen in a brand-new gladiatorial cricket series 'Ultimate Kricket Challenge (UKC)'. The unique star-studded event, that gets underway from December 24, shortens the game into 4 innings of 15 balls each, where each UKC gladiator will go head-to-head against every other, increasing the stakes for the right to be crowned the best in the world.
"We don't want to go too ahead in our vision. But yes, UKC is the right platform that can go beyond the cricket playing commonwealth nations and give individual cricketers across nations like Brazil, Argentina, US, Iran or Singapore to be part of the tournament and showcase their mettle. Cricket needs to innovate to be a part of the Olympics and UKC offers that innovation and 1-to-1 contest," Thakran told ANI in an exclusive interaction.
When asked as to how the idea came about, Thakran said: "The three founders of the game are Vikram Puttaswamy, Vice Chairman UKC, Kunal Sharma, a scion of sporting equipment business family, and me. The project is Kunal's brainchild as he has been involved with the sport for over 4 decades now. The basic fundamental to invent a game with a twist was to truly test who is the best cricketer in the world. We see in other variations of the game that it's more than one person it takes to win a game, in UKC it's all about that one player, that one superstar, and that one legend. There is only one winner in UKC."
The first of its kind, this 16-match tournament will see the introduction of new cricket rules in a new one-on-one cricket match format. Each match will consist of 2 UKC contenders squaring off against each other across 4 innings of 15 balls each in every match. 2 points are awarded for a UKC contender winning a match in the league stage and the UKC contender with more runs at the end of each match is the winner.
"The tournament introduces several firsts in world cricket which have never been seen before. First of all, the main part of the game is it's a 1 versus 1 game, there aren't 11 players per side. We will be unveiling new bat technology wherein fans can hear and see every aspect of the game. There are no time-outs, stoppages for rain, or bad conditions, it's 15 balls per innings of non-stop enthralling action. To make it more interesting and give the fans peak experience, we have introduced a 12-run shot, which a batsman gets when he hits the bullseye," said Thakran.
The top 4 UKC contenders from the league rounds enter the semi-finals, which are knock-out matches. A UKC contender while batting can gain runs only after they complete a physical run. The scoring is divided into 6 scoring zones: Zone A - 1 run, Zone B- 1 run, Zone C - 2 runs, Zone D - 3 runs, Zone E - with a bounce 4 runs, Zone E- direct 6 runs.
However, a batter who hits the bullseye (behind the bowler) scores 12 runs and gains an extra ball to play. Bullseye on the square of wickets will get the batter 4 runs. Every time a batter gets out, 5 runs are deducted from the total.
"The players loved the concept when we spoke to them. They were eager to prove their mettle. This format lets them showcase their real talents irrespective of rain delays, pitch conditions, or team performance. All jumped at the prospect of being declared the real champ," said Thakran.
"We want the biggest talent in world cricket to participate in UKC, only then we will truly know who the best player in the world is. We are completely independent of any board, however, we are willing to work with any board who wants to work with us," he signed off. (ANI)