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Sachin, Sehwag to open for India again

More than 75 legends from 5 countries take guard once more for the cause of road safety

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MUMBAI: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, one of the most fearsome opening batsman of all time Virender Sehwag, the legendary West Indian Brian Lara, lethal Aussie speedster Bret Lee, one of Sri Lanka’s most stylish and dependable batsman of all time Tillakaratne Dilshan and the one and only, who took fielding in cricket to a different level, Jonty Rhodes, all come together once again to enthral us with their cricketing brilliance when they lock horns for the Road Safety World Series scheduled to be held in India early next year.

The Road Safety World Series will be an annual T20 cricket tournament between legends of five cricket playing nations—Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and host India. Along with great rivalry and fierce competition, the cricketers will also spread the message of road safety during this League. The tournament will be played from 4th February to 16th February 2020, and will be hosted across premier venues in India.

Little Master Sunil Gavaskar is the Commissioner and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is the Brand Ambassador of the League. Viacom18’s Colors Cineplex is the broadcast partner while VOOT and Jio are the digital partners. The popular platform Tik Tok is coming on board as the Online Community Partner of the League.  

The aim of the Road Safety World Series is to drive social change in the country and change people’s outlook towards road safety. As cricket is the most followed sport in the country and cricketers are looked upon as idols by many, this League will work as an ideal platform to influence and change people’s mind set towards their behaviour on the roads.

Apart from the legendary cricketers, Melroy D’Souza, COO, Professional Management Group (PMG); Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO & MD, Viacom18; Nitin Saluja, Director Public Policy Programs, TikTok India and Ravi Gaikwad, RTO Chief of Thane (Konkan Range) who is also a senior member of the Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra, were also present during the launch of this T20 extravaganza which has all the making of a big-ticket event in India’s sporting calendar. A portion of the profits gained during this league will go to Shant Bharat Surakshit Bharat, a charitable trust whose main objective is to promote the cause of road safety in the country.

Mr. Gaikwad, who was a H. Sc. state topper and scientist before joining RTO said, “One things that runs very deeply in every Indians DNA is cricket. The reach of this game and the following of its stars are phenomenal and that is what we want to do, spread the message across through this game which is so close to everyone in this country. The Road Safety World Series is not just a cricket tournament but a platform to achieve a much greater goal towards humanity as a whole. It is perhaps divine intervention that has brought all of us together to create the Road Safety World Series where we will see all those legends in action whom we had started to miss in the last few years. I am sure, we all, who are here together today to make this happen, will one day be very proud of what we have achieved for ourselves and for our future generations. I know people look at sports as a form of entertainment, but if sports is played only for entertainment purpose, the Olympic movement and its glorious narrative will not have any meaning. I welcome you all to experience this unique journey where we will not only be creating memories but spearheading a movement to save more lives on Indian roads.”

Brand Ambassador of the League, Sachin Tendulkar said, “People in India loves cricket and we are blessed to be playing the sport. The love and affection showered by one and all towards cricket and cricketers is too fulfilling to express in words. I have been regularly talking about the importance of following traffic rules and driving safely, and the platform of Road Safety World Series feels like a full circle. I am really happy to be a part of this league which not only gives the stalwarts of the cricket world a chance to come back but also an opportunity for all of us to give something back to the society through this beautiful game.”

Speaking about the Road Safety World Series, Melroy said, “We are very excited about using cricket as a platform to promote road safety. The tournament will give an opportunity for the fans to see their idols, back in action, a chance which I think all of them will cherish. It will give some of the greatest cricketers of all time, an opportunity to pit their wits and skills against each other, all over again.”

Speaking about the partnership for Road Safety World Series, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18 said: “We have always believed that entertainment has the potential to bring about meaningful change and what better way of practising this philosophy than to bring cricketing legends in the popular T20 format to spread the message of road safety. An annual tourney spread over two weeks, I believe this league has the right balance of fandom, brevity and consumer connect to make this a viable long-term proposition – both in terms of sporting and business value. We are happy to partner with PMG and Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra Govt. to bring forth this cricketing tournament to viewers across the world.”

Leading short view platform, TikTok has also extended its support to the campaign as Online Community Partners. As part of this partnership, the TikTok campaign #RoadSafetyChamps will launch go live on the platform in the lead up to the tournament in February 2019.

“In line with our commitment towards the safety of our users, we are excited to partner with Road Safety World Series. As part of our ongoing safety initiatives, we’ve launched several consumer education programs in the past. Through this partnership we look forward to extending support by spreading the message of road safety through TikTok,” Nitin Saluja - Director Public Policy Programs, TikTok India.

WHY ROAD SAFETY?

Every year India kills a decent size European nation on its roads. In India, one person dies in every four minutes. Every hundred people dying in the world, 30 are Indians. It is more alarming that as per the World Research Institute, by 2020, the death toll in road accidents every year will reach up to 2.2 million and 50 per cent will be Indians. Every year around 1,50,000 people are killed and more than 4,50,000 people are critically injured in our country in road accidents. 

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