by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The first ever professional table tennis league to be held in India, the concept comprises six franchises and will be staged in three cities. Chennai will be the host from Thursday 13th to Thursday 20th July, the next stop will be New Delhi from Friday 21st to Wednesday 26th July and finally Mumbai from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th July.
A total of 12 men and 12 women from beyond the borders of India will join the same number of host nation players.
“These are exciting times for us at Ultimate Table Tennis as we inch closer to the launch of the first ever professional table tennis league in India. We have received an overwhelming response from foreign players and also have a strong pool of Indian talent. We are ready to kick off what promises to be one of the most entertaining sporting events.” Vita Dani, Chair 11Even Sports
Notably there will be celebrated coaches on duty including Elena Timina, Peter Engel, Ilija Lupulesku, Francisco Santos, Ferenc Karsai and Vesna Ojstersek.
“We have a great pool of talent participating in the inaugural season. Supporting the players are World class Indian and international coaches who have guided national teams to medals in the past. The format provides a great opportunity for Indian players to play alongside top international players which will help their growth tremendously.” Niraj Bajaj, Co-Promoter and three times national champion.
A total of 15 league matches, with each fixture being nine matches and each match best of three games will be played. Awards will be made to both team and individuals.
Each franchisee will select eight players through a draft that will be conducted on Friday 9th June.
Men: 1. Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong) 2. Marcos Freitas (Portugal) 3. Tiago Apolonia (Portugal) 4. Stefan Fegerl (Austria) 5. Kou Lei (Ukraine) 6. Panagiotis Gionis (Greece) 7. Quadri Aruna (Nigeria) 8. Andrej Gacina (Croatia) 9. Pär Gerell (Sweden) 10. Li Ping (Qatar) 11. Joäo Monteiro (Portugal) 12. Liam Pitchford (England)
Women: 1. Han Ying (Germany) 2. Wu Yang (China) 3. Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong) 4. Hu Melek (Turkey) 5. Liu Jia (Austria) 6. Petrissa Solja (Germany) 7. Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong) 8. Fu Yu (Portugal) 9. Li Qian (Poland) 10. Sabine Winter (Germany) 11. Polina Mikhailova (Russia) 12. Tetyana Bilenko (Ukraine)
Men: 1. Sharath Kamal Achanta 2. Soumyajit Ghosh 3. Harmeet Desai 4. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 5. Amalraj Anthony 6. Sanil Shetty 7. Jubin Kumar 8. Manav Thakkar 9. Ronit Bhanja 10. Birdie Boro 11. Arjun Ghosh 12. Abhishek Yadav
Women: 1. Manika Batra 2. Mouma Das 3. Madhurika Patkar 4. Pooja Sahasrabudhe 5. Suthirtha Mukherjee 6. Mousumi Paul 7. Krittwika Sinha Roy 8. Archana Kamath 9. Moumita Dutta 10. Amurtha Pushpak 11. Priyadarshini Das 12. Selena Deepti Selvakumar
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