Following on from the spectacular success of both Sky Sports Ryder and Sky Sports Darts, Sky are set to launch yet another dedicated sporting channel, this time dedicated to cricket. Yes, that classic colonial pastime is getting its own channel for six weeks of this year, and you can guarantee the thought of it already has cricket fans chomping at the bit in order to let the fun begin. The channel, which is to be called (rather confusingly) Sky Sports World Cup, will broadcast constantly from the very first day of the ICC Cricket World Cup until the last, beginning on Friday the 13th of February.
On its first day of broadcast you'll be treat to two hours of live build up coverage, which will set the scene for that opening fixture as the current world cup holders, Sri Lanka, take on New Zealand in what should be an incredibly exciting match. That will be followed by England vs Australia, the first match on England's calendar and perhaps one of the most difficult. All of these games will feature live commentary, statistics, analysis and more which will help highlight the technical brilliance of the modern cricket match. Live commentary during the competition will be provided by Sir Ian Botham, Mike Atheron, David Lloyd, Nasser Hussain and Nick Knight.
In total, Sky Sports World Cup will broadcast over 1000 hours of around the clock cricket coverage, which will include all 49 matches broadcast live alongside build up, post game Verdict shows and much more. It's a generous move from Sky who have come under fire from cricket fans via the contact number for Sky for not broadcasting enough of their favourite sport.
The channel will begin its broadcast at 6am, where it will show a series of classic World Cup matches from the past, before we visit Adam Gilchrist as he shares his masterclass tips as part of Sky's auxiliary broadcasting for the six weeks.
Speaking of the tournament on Sky Sports, Barney Francis, Sky Sports MD said: “The Cricket World Cup is the one of the world’s biggest sporting events, offering six weeks of rivalry between 14 nations. By dedicating a whole channel to the tournament, fans know that there’s only once place to watch all of the action live, catch up with highlights and enjoy the reaction and views of our experts. This is the biggest ever year of cricket on Sky Sports and the channel will help to make sure it’s our best yet.”
Adding to that sentiment, Bob Willis, former England Captain and Sky Sports Cricket pundit said: “I was lucky enough to play in two World Cups and as player you want to compete against the top teams on the biggest stage. It’s only a month to go now until Sky Sports World Cup launches and as a studio analyst and a fan, I can’t wait to watch as all of the excitement and the stories unfold.”
The expansion of Sky's cricket coverage is part of Sky Sports need to shift away from being a football first channel, given the increased pressure from the likes of Virgin Media and BT.
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