An Indian version of the popular animated baseball show "Kyojin no Hoshi" ("Star of the Giants") will be televised in India from Dec. 23, with the sport being replaced by cricket for local appeal.

The popularity of Japanese "anime" has grown in India in recent years following the broadcast of cartoon series such as "Doraemon" and "Crayon Shinchan."

"Kyojin no Hoshi" is about a boy named Hyuma Hoshi, who seeks to become a star pitcher with the Yomiuri Giants baseball club. A joint project between Japanese and Indian producers led by Kodansha Ltd., which publishes the manga on which the series is based, adapted the story, with the protagonist becoming a boy called Suraj who dreams of becoming a star cricket player.

The Indian version, "Suraj: The Rising Star," will feature a special breaking ball and a bodybuilding aid that helps the boy to become a strong player, both of which appear in the original story.

The remake will be broadcast on Indian TV once a week for about half a year.