EXCLUSIVE: We intend to establish something that resonates in the Indian market – Nick Cummins, CEO of Cricket Victoria

Mr Cummins spoke about the vast Indian market, the program's curriculum and much more.

Earlier this month, the Indian digital sports platform, KheloMore Sports unveiled the Melbourne Cricket Academy (MCA) in partnership with Cricket Victoria (CV). 

The collaboration aims to blend the two cricketing cultures and venture into a new era of cricket development for India and Victoria. The former Indian international cricketer and KheloMore Sports CEO, Jatin Paranjape, helmed the arrangement.

SportsMint Media had an exclusive interaction with Mr Nick Cummins, CEO of Cricket Victoria at the association’s announcement in Mumbai. Mr Cummins spoke about the vast Indian market, the program’s curriculum and much more.

1. Could you please elaborate on what happened behind the scenes in finalising this association between KheloMore and Cricket Victoria?

It all began with Deep Mukherjee, who approached us with the notion of expanding the sport into Indian schools. We believe that Victoria has an excellent framework around delivering to schools, and he believed we could do something in India. There are the obstacles of being from outside India, as the scale is enormous and a good local partner is very important.

Deep introduced us to KheloMore and the conversation started which helped us understand the fruitful opportunities due to the population. 130 thousand schools and we decided to focus on small opportunities. As a result, we agreed to prioritize coaching, accreditation, and standardisation. Later, if an opportunity arises to run cricket tournaments or overseas tours, we’ll start with that too.

2. Does the program’s curriculum also include cricket administration?

We aren’t looking into it at this stage of the program and it’s a space where we could explore administration, curating, officiating, umpiring, and more.

The initial emphasis will be on the foundation, which is coaching the coaches. We intend to establish something that resonates in the Indian market. We would like to go ahead with the Test-Learn-Evolve method. Once we feel like we’re delivering our core offering, we can start looking at other elements we can build. We’ve got a partnership with RMIT University in Australia. They’re keen to do more work in India but prioritising the initial things is what is first on the list.

3. How Cricket Victoria’s expertise could be utilised in this association with KheloMore?

Here’s where KheloMore is important as we have to understand that while our cultures are very similar, they are also different not only from the point of view of languages and region but also from how people experience sports.

We will provide our core offering to KheloMore, showcasing the path we will follow to help us understand parts that won’t work in India. Via this process, we will understand if our marketing material is too Australian, which would not be relatable to Indian boys and girls.

In addition, we are making sure that we are using the right voice while presenting. In addition, making sure that we understand the nuances of facilities and how people access and like to engage with cricket rather than saying we need to do it our way.

4. How different is it catering to a smaller market like Australia compared to a massive market like India?

While looking at the USA or India, the primary highlight is the number of screens their respective markets have. Conducting a Melbourne Stars match for the Big Bash League is the same as carrying out a Mumbai Indians match here in India but the multiplier factor of the work in India is much greater.

One of the aspects of being in a small market is to be more resourceful. It’s much harder to compete and thrive because the share of the wallet is a lot thinner.

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