The T20 cricket icons Suresh Raina, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, along with Anil Kumble, Robin Uthappa, RP Singh, Eoin Morgan, and Scott Styris will headline JioCinemas -- official digital rights holder -- expert panel for the IPL 2023 Player Auction, to be held on December 23 in Kochi.
Mainly known as Mr. IPL for his success with four-time winners Chennai Super Kings, ex-India left-handed batter Raina will headline the Hindi coverage alongside Uttar Pradesh state-mate and former India left-arm pacer Singh.
"I am coming back to the IPL armed with a mike in hand. It is exciting to be a part of the TATA IPL Player Auction 2023 along with my friends and former teammates and engage with fans across India," said Raina in an official release.
Gayle, commonly known as Universe Boss and de Villiers, famous for bringing 360-style of cricket T20s, will reunite for the Player Auction to present their views on the picks made by all ten franchises on December 23.
"This is as thrilling as it gets to return to the IPL in a different avatar with my former teammates and competitors for the auction. I hope to get the same love from the fans in my new role where I will do some talking and not my bat," added Gayle.
India is a very special place and to come back to the IPL in a new avatar with JioCinema will be an intriguing prospect. I hope fans enjoy and appreciate my work with a mic in hand in tow with these luminaries," stated de Villiers.
Kumble, the former India leg-spinner and head coach, will be present alongside Uthappa, a member of three previous IPL winning sides. Kumble was replaced by Trevor Bayliss as head coach of Punjab Kings after the side failed to enter IPL 2022 playoffs under him.
"After playing, and coaching in the IPL, I look forward to being an expert panellist for the 2023 auction on JioCinema. In the company of the most reputed names from league's history, I am sure viewers will be offered well-rounded and incisive coverage," said Kumble.
Morgan, England's 2019 ODI World Cup winning skipper and Styris, the former New Zealand all-rounder will be part of the English panel that will also bring in-depth narratives like never before in the lead-up to the player auction that will see 405 cricketers going under the hammer.
"I'm glad to join this league of extraordinary gentlemen for the TATA IPL Player Auction 2023. With some of the sharpest minds of cricket dissecting the event, I reckon the fans are in for a treat at this auction," said Morgan.
The panel will be part of an array of shows to keep fans engaged and excited for the IPL Player Auction 2023, including an in-house mock auction a day before the main event. The IPL Player Auction will be broadcasted to viewers in India across six languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam, on JioCinema.
Earlier this year, Viacom18, under which JioCinema operates, shelled out INR 23,758 crore to claim digital rights (packages B & C) for the Indian subcontinent for IPL media rights 2023-27. Viacome18 further won the Australia, South Africa and United Kingdom rights for the same period.