India’s Clean Slate Studioz strikes Yorkshire County Cricket Club deal

India’s Clean Slate Studioz strikes Yorkshire County Cricket Club deal
(L-R) Amreesh Chandra, Darren Gough, Lord Patel, Ajay Sharma, Anvitaa Dutt, Karnesh Ssharma

Global streaming platform Clean Slate Studioz has become the first Indian business with significant naming rights at a UK sports venue, as the title sponsor of Headingley Cricket Ground after clinching a deal as the new Principal Partner for Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC).

India-based Clean Slate Studioz is co-founded by Karnesh Ssharma – Bollywood star Anushka Sharma’s brother and former Indian captain Virat Kohli’s brother-in-law – and Amreesh A. Chandra. The company describes itself as a “female-forward, female-first” original content streaming platform, scheduled for a global launch in 2023.

Ssharma said: “We’re incredibly proud to partner with Yorkshire and to be the first Indian company to have their name prominently featured within a UK sports ground.

“Clean Slate puts inclusivity and diversity at the fore of its entertainment roster, and we truly believe that our entertainment vision and values align with that of Yorkshire County Cricket Club moving forward. Our ambition is to help make the Headingley venue a beacon for equality and inclusivity in Yorkshire and the sport in general.”

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Clean Slate’s two-year partnership agreement with YCCC, starting this season, covers the title of Principal Partner of YCCC and its women’s team, Northern Diamonds, and name on the main pavilion, now known as the Clean Slate Pavilion. The agreement also includes branding on the outside of the East Stand at Headingley, the main entrance to the ground, Clean Slate’s name on the official Playing Shirt and Training Wear of Northern Diamonds, and pitch branding for all non-televised games that are streamed.

Amreesh A. Chandra said: “With India and the UK being at the cusp of drafting a historic trade and business relationship, the partnership between YCCC and Clean Slate reflects the vision of the two governments.

“The fact that we have formed this partnership during a historic moment for India – with its 75th year of Independence, and the UK – with the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, is heartening. This is a testament to not only the legacy of both countries, but the opportunities on the road ahead as journey towards an equal world.”

Anushka Sharma, who had founded Clean Slate Filmz as a production house with her brother Karnesh, announced last month that she would be stepping away from the business to focus on her first love of acting.

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“I am incredibly honoured to work with Yorkshire County Cricket Club in their quest for inclusivity, diversity, equity and most importantly the empowerment of women. These are the core values of Clean Slate and through our association with YCCC, we not only want to support these values but to see their implementation making a difference and hence also our support to the Northern Diamonds,” added Chandra.

Founded in 1863, YCCC is among the most established professional cricket clubs in the UK with well-known star players such as England’s Test cricket captain Joe Root. It is also considered one of the most successful teams in English cricketing history, with 33 County Championship titles, and their ground, Headingley, an international venue for cricket.

“The UK and India are culturally and economically interlinked, and we share the same passion and energy when it comes to sport and entertainment. Therefore, it is a huge honour for me to build this bridge between Yorkshire and India through the partnership with Clean Slate,” said Lord Kamlesh Patel, Indian-origin peer and Chairman of YCCC.

“There are more similarities between the two regions than universally known – Bradford is the first UNESCO city of film, with hundreds of films produced in the region, and of course Headingly is the heart of cricket. Similarly, cinema and cricket is what makes Mumbai the high-energy city it is. By bringing together both these phenomenal regions, we have an opportunity to unlock exceptional talent, foster cultural exchange, and nurture new talent in cricket and cinema. I am beyond excited for what this historic partnership is going to yield,” he said.

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Former Yorkshire captain and Managing Director of Cricket Darren Gough added: “Headingley has always been a ground like no other and we welcome Clean Slate into our home.

“As a proud Yorkshire captain and an England international, I’ve seen and felt first-hand the incredible atmosphere in our ground. So I’m looking forward to seeing how the creativity, experience and values that Clean Slate bring can take us forward, on and off the pitch, from the first day of this season.”

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