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Indian Table Tennis League to take place next year

644   //    21 Aug 2015, 19:00 IST
The world’s best TT players will face off in the league next year (representational image)

The first edition of the Indian Table Tennis League will take place next year, with a prize money worth an astounding ?1 crore. It will take place from May to June of 2016. It was announced that the event will be a franchisee based one, and the first ever league in the sport of Table Tennis.

After months of deliberation, the announcement was made that the league will be scheduled from May 28 to June 12, in the same year as the Rio Olympics. The league will have 8 teams fighting for prize money and each team will also have a foreign male and female player in their team along with the Indian paddlers. The league will be backed by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), with the format to be decided soon.

  “Today we have just announced the launch of the league. We are still in the process of working out the number of teams, who their owners will be and players’ participation from all around the world. Now that we have got the ITTF nod, we are confident the best players of the world will be a part of this league, which will turn out to be a great learning experience for the Indian players,” 11EVEN Sports director and former player Kamlesh Mehta told PTI.

Mehta also said players will be paid based on their ranking, and the league will also see the participation of the mighty Chinese players. “We have already had meetings with the Chinese officials and they seem very open to providing their players. Though the event is in the Olympic year, it is two months before the Rio Games begin. We will get the world’s best players to India,” said Mehta.

The league is being conducted by 11EVEN Sports headed by Vita Dani, who is also the co-owner of the ISL team Chennaiyin FC. The company will themselves promote the league and provide all the financial resources, and TTFI will take care of the technical aspects and will be paid by the company on a season wise basis.

TTFI and 11EVEN Sports have signed a 10-year contract to promote the game in the country.

Soumyajit Ghosh, the reigning national champion, was present at the launch and said the league will help Indian players enormously. “We will get to play against the best in our own country. As of now, we all train overseas but with the arrival of the league, we will get to spend so much time with the best in the business. How they train, how they prepare, things like that,” said Ghosh.

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