Ajay Sethi, chairman of Dubai-based Channel 2 Group Corporation, with commentators and former Test stars Farokh Engineer, Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The BBC Test Match Special, which had partnered with Dubai-based Channel 2 Group Corporation, has secured the rights to broadcast ball-by-ball coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, to be held in England and Wales next year.

The broadcast of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is part of a long-term deal with Channel 2 Group Corporation, ICC’s Global Audio Rights Partner, who holds exclusive rights to sub-license audio rights to ICC events until 2023.

Speaking to Gulf News, Ajay Sethi, the chairman of the Channel 2 Group Corporation, said: “It is my vision to reach out to more cricket fans and I am delighted that our group has been achieving it. BBC Test Match Special has incredible fan base who have been enjoying cricket coverage for over 60 years, and so we are thrilled to have partnered with TMS until 2023.”

The Channel 2 Group have already acquired the global audio rights for the Asia Cup and the IPL for the next five years. “We look forward to securing a wide range of radio broadcasters, for territories outside of the UK, to ensure all cricket fans worldwide are given the chance to listen to coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019,” added Sethi, whose group has come a long way since the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 Cup in South Africa, where it only had Cricket Radio rights from IMG as the global rights holders for eight years from 2007 to 2015.

Channel 2 Group will bring the Asia Cup to many fans as they had acquired the audio rights for the Asia Cup to be held in the UAE from September 13 to 18.

Test Match Special will be broadcast to fans on multiple platforms across the United Kingdom, including on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, Radio 4 Long Wave and the BBC Sport website.

The deal will ensure that Test Match Special covers all the ICC’s major events through to the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India – including the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2021 and the men’s and women’s ICC World Twenty20 events.

David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive hailed the partnership, saying: “Next year is going to be as big as it gets as fans look forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup with anticipation. That the ball-by-ball coverage of the tournament will be broadcast on BBC Test Match Special is great news, it is part of the fabric of our game and has tremendous reach on multiple platforms across the United Kingdom.”