Kochi: A 3-month-long racing tournament – Champions Boat League – will be organised in Kerala this week. The event will be hosted by Kerala Tourism and is based on the pattern of IPL cricket tournament format.
A media report said the event would be flagged off by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Sachin Tendulkar would be present during the inaugural at the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha.
Nine teams will be fighting for the top position and the winners will be awarded a prize money of Rs 5.9 crore – the fourth highest in all sports in India. The tournament would be would be broadcast live. A media report said, the opening race this on 10 August coincides with the Nehru Trophy Boat Race at the same venue. The final match of the tournament would overlap with the famous President’s Trophy Boat Race.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that the CBL is a game-changing initiative and that it would professionalise the largely scattered snake-boat races by commercialising them while keeping intact the conventional spirit.
The CBL would also be a fascinating tourism product with enormous potential to attract visitors from far and wide during Kerala’s monsoon season from early June to late October, he said. “Apart from creating a breathtaking new visual experience for the visitors in Kerala’s panoramic backwaters, it will also benefit local communities, given its focus on social aspects,” the minister added.
The first three winners of each match would be awarded Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, and Rs 1 lakh, respectively, and all participants would get a bonus prize of Rs 4 lakh for each match.
An auction would be organised but until then the Kerala Tourism department would own all the nine teams, added the report.