How this Dubai businessman made it big in cricket broadcasting

Channel 2 Group Corporation has extended ICC audio rights partnership until 2027


Rituraj Borkakoty

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Ajay Sethi with cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. — Supplied photo
Ajay Sethi with cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. — Supplied photo

Published: Thu 30 May 2024, 9:11 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 May 2024, 10:50 PM

Ajay Sethi's is among the most heartwarming success stories in Dubai. Having arrived on these shores to start a small-scale business in 1993, this Chandigarh-born businessman is now a big name in the world of cricket broadcasting.

The chairman and MD of the Channel 2 Group Corporation has now one more reason to celebrate, having extended the audio rights partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the upcoming T20 World Cup (June 1-29) in the West Indies and the US.

As per the new deal, the Channel 2 Group Corporation now has the audio rights for India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region until 2027.

It's a new milestone for the Dubai-based Indian businessman who first earned the ICC global audio rights in 2009.

"It's a big moment for us because South Asia is the biggest market for cricket. It proves that the ICC continues to trust our ability to produce world-class radio content in the World Cups," Sethi told the Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

"We have partnered with Big Talk and 100.3 FM which will produce live World Cup commentary in the UAE. Our line-up of commentators will be announced soon."

Remarkably, the Channel 2 Group Corporation brings the Who's Who of cricket broadcasting during every World Cup.

"I think one of the biggest reasons that the ICC has continued to be our partners is that we bring the biggest names to the radio commentary box. We get people like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Clive Lloyd and Zaheer Abbas," he said.

"Cricket fans have always seen these legends as TV commentators. But I brought them to radio commentary as well. The ICC has always appreciated our effort to bring top-class commentators. You know they don't award the deals just to the highest bidders, they also see what kind of effort you are taking to promote the game."

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja was among the cricket stalwarts who acknowledged Sethi's contributions to the game.

"Channel 2 needs to be commended for investing in our great sport through world-class commentary. It's a great team led by Sethi," the former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman said.

Sethi, whose first venture in the UAE was an automobile spare parts showroom in Deira, says he will forever be indebted to this country for the role it has played in his growth.

"When I arrived here, Dubai was a small town, now it has grown into an amazing city, and I have grown in my life alongside this great city over the years. I will forever be grateful to this country for everything that it has given me," he said.


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