A new table tennis league, named Ultimate Ping Pong (UPP), with six teams on board, will kick off on July 13 with support from the Indian national federation and the world governing body of the game.
The launch was announced by 11Even Sports Pvt. Ltd(ESPL), a company formed to promote table tennis in India,
through a press release.
The inaugural season will be played from July 13 to July 30 in three different cities – Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. The first two legs will be held in Chennai and Delhi before UPP shifts base to Mumbai for the finale.
“UPP will feature a total of 48 world class paddlers (24 men’s players and 24 women’s players) including 24 Indians. Each franchise will comprise eight paddlers – two Indian men players, two Indian women players, two foreign men players and two foreign women players,” a release stated.
The teams will battle it out for the prize pool of USD 450,000 (about 3 crore rupees), the highest ever prize money
for a table tennis event in the country.
“Table Tennis is close to my heart and I have been contributing to the development of the sport. With Ultimate Ping Pong I found the right platform to begin our journey in making India a medal contending nation in table tennis at the Olympics,” Niraj R Bajaj, a co-promoter of UPP, said.
ITTF president Thomas Weikert said, “ESPL recently organised Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open very productively and we received great feedback from various participating players and coaches. We wish all success to
Ultimate Ping Pong and look forward to increase the reach and interest of the game in India.”
TTFI president Dushyant Chautala added, “We are extremely proud to be associated with the Ultimate Ping Pong as it is one of the most premier events for the sport ever to be held on an annual basis in India.
“We thank 11EVEN SPORTS for their efforts to build Table Tennis and are sure that UPP will act as a catalyst to build everyone’s interest in the sport and get youngsters interested to play the game.”