Coach Ricki Herbert is set to become a household name with millions of Indian football fans.
The founder of the Ricki Herbert Football Academy has taken up a role as a presenter and commentator on the India Super League, working for India’s STAR Sports.
Audiences for the television coverage of the ISL are huge with an estimated 429 million viewers watching the first season of competition two years ago, when Herbert coached foundation side NorthEast United.
Herbert’s popularity with Indian football fans has led to STAR Sports contracting the New Zealander to help provide ISL coverage on eight channels in five languages, aimed at reaching 85% of the potential television audience.
“I will be presenting from the studio but also co-commentating on some games and also doing some sideline comments,” Herbert said of his role.
“It’s an exciting league with some of the largest crowds in the world and some big names from all around the world.”
The former All White player and coach will also work on a popular show called LTF (Let’s Talk Football) which covers games from all around the world.
Herbert has kept an affinity with India since his coaching term there in 2014, returning three times during his time in charge of the Maldives.
He will be in India until the Super League Final on December 18 after which he will return to New Zealand to take up his new role as Director of Football at St Peter’s Cambridge, and as Technical Director at Cambridge Football Club.
During his first week in India, Herbert caught up with another Kiwi sporting great, cricketer Stephen Fleming, who is there to commentate on New Zealand’s test series with India.