Alapuzzha: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today (August 30) said he is excited to witness the first-ever Champions Boat League (CBL) in Kerala.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) styled CBL will start in Alapuzzha on August 31. Tendulkar will be the chief guest and will launch the league.

Also read: Sachin Tendulkar inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

On the eve of the race, Tendulkar tweeted, “Excited to witness a spectacular display of culture & sport at the 1st ever Champions Boat League race in Alappuzha, Kerala. See you there guys!”.

“For years now elegant snake boats (chundan vallam) have been used for the world-renowned snake boat races that are conducted annually on the backwaters of Kerala as part of both rituals and festivities. Now, as part of a novel venture to protect and promote the tradition of the land, Kerala Tourism is launching the Champions Boat League,” CBL said on its website.

The league will be conducted at 12 different venues across Kerala. The main objectives of this are conservation and promotion of Kerala's traditional festivals, to create an annual event to be marketed as a Tourism product and to showcase Kerala Backwaters to the world.

The CBL will start on August 31 with the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha, and will end with the President’s Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on November 23, holding 12 races overall during the intervening weekends.

All races will be held in the afternoons: between 2.30 pm and 5 pm and will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil and Asianet Plus, at 4 pm. This season’s winner will get a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh while those finishing second and third places will receive Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.

Tickets are priced from Rs 100 onwards.

Boat clubs (9) participating in CBL

1. Pallathuruthi Boat Club, Alappuzha (Tropical Titans)

2. Police Boat Club (Raging Rowers)

3. United Boat Club, Kuttamangalam, Kainakary (Coast Dominators)

4. NCDC/Kumarakam (Mighty Oars)

5. Village Boat Club Edathua (Backwater Knights)

6. KBC/SFBC, Kumarakam (Thunder Oars)

7. Vembanad Boat Club, Kumarakam (Pride Chasers)

8. Town Boat Club, Kumarakam (Backwater Warriors)

9. Brothers Boat Club, Edathua (Backwater Ninja)

CBL schedule

1. Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Alappuzha district (August 31)

2. Thazhathangadi, Kottayam district (September 7)

3. Karuvatta, Alappuzha district (September 14)

4. Piravam, Ernakulam district (September 29)

5. Marine Drive, Ernakulam district (October 5)

6. Kottappuram, Thrissur district (October 12)

7. Ponnani, Malappuram district (October 19)

8. Kainakari, Alappuzha district (October 26)

9. Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha district (November 2)

10. Kayamkulam, Alappuzha district (November 9)

11. Kallada, Kollam district (November 16)

12. President's Boat Race, Kollam district (November 23)