While former Indian batsman Mohammed Kaif covered a lot of ground at the perimeter fence before taking a dive and making fans nostalgic for his brilliant fielding skills, swashbuckler Yusuf Pathan played like he never retired.
Stars like Kevin O’Brien and Ashley Nurse have also lived through sparkling ages.
All of this has led to a huge fan response, said Raman Raheja, the co-founder and CEO of Legends League Cricket.
“We’ve had great reactions from both the stadium audience and the ratings. We’ve got the ratings for the first game. We’ve outdone ourselves.
“It is five times higher than last season in terms of ratings. We have also maintained the position of the second most watched T20 competition in India after the IPL and our digital footprint has surpassed 600 million,” he said.
The current season has registered more than 16 million unique viewers on the digital streaming platforms in India and its digital footprint has also reached 600 million fans around the world.
According to the latest TV ratings from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the opening game of the season between India Maharajas and World Giants, played at Eden Gardens with the world’s best players taking part, has received higher ratings than any other on- go cricket league in the country.
England’s Graeme Swann has also tried to trick the batters with off-spin, just like he used to do when he played for his country.
Swann, who represents the Gujarat Giants, said the competitiveness on the ground spills over into the practice nets as he trains hard.
“It’s a brilliant tournament, it shocked me how competitive it is. I thought it would be easier on the body,” Swann told a news conference in New Delhi.
Bhilwara Kings’ pacer S Sreesanth said the legendary players go to the gym regularly.
“It’s not a charity match, everyone is in the gym, training… I’m surprised I bowl with the same power and speed I used to bowl when I played for the country,” Sreesanth said.
Swann’s Gujarat teammate and former Sri Lanka mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis spoke on the same line.
“Everyone here plays cricket very seriously. Many of the legends are still very dangerous on the ground. I’m looking forward to playing this tournament.”
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