The Ultimate Table Tennis League was conceptualised to promote the sport of Table Tennis in the country. With Indian paddlers dishing out brilliant performances in the world circuit, Indian Table Tennis needed that one-little push to launch itself onto the world platform, and it seems like UTT might be the way to go about it.
Franchise based leagues have helped commercialise sport, something which is necessary to increase the reach of sport and to help young players get some much needed funds for their training and development.
More than that it is about the exposure that young players would get, competing against and playing alongside some of the world’s best.
World Number 8, Wong Chun Ting and World Number 14, Marcos Freitas would be gracing the event and they should have a lot to offer to the young Indian paddlers.
The Ultimate Table Tennis League would be having a new format, which has been formulated to keep the audience more involved.
A tie would consist of 9 matches and each match would have 3 sets, which means a total of 27 sets will be played when two franchises take on each other. The franchise that wins more sets, clinches the tie.
Also, the authorities have done away with the phenomenon of ‘deuce’. When the score is tied at 10-10 in a set, players wouldn’t have to win by a difference of two, rather the 21st point will be golden point, and whoever wins it will claim the set.
The inauguration of the Ultimate Table Tennis took place in Chennai(where the first leg of the event would take place) on Monday, where Sharath Kamal, India’s ace paddler was interviewed by reporters. He seemed thrilled with the concept and wished if it could have taken place 15 years back.
“The UTT is a great initiative to grab Indian audience’s attention. I wish this happened 15 years ago, and I wouldn’t have gone to Europe to play competitive TT. It’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to prove their worth at this level,” Sharath said.
Wong Chun Ting, who was also present at the event, said that he was looking forward to the event, as the new format would require him to be on his toes at all times.
“It’s an interesting format and I’ll be playing it for the first time. It’ll be interesting to see how the players adapt to the situations. It looks competitive as you won’t get much time to recover when you play in best-of-three format,” he said.
The Ultimate Table Tennis League is scheduled to be a 3-week affair, with six franchises locking horns for the top prize. Dabang Smashers TTC, RP-SG Mavericks, DHFL Maharashtra United, Falcons TTC, OilmaxStag Yoddhas and Shaze Challengers are the six franchises. All these franchises have a combination of 4 domestic and 4 international players.
The first leg of the event will take place in Chennai(13-20 July) followed by Delhi(21-25 July) and ultimately culminating in Mumbai(26-30 July). The league will be telecasted on Star Sports and HotStar. Do tune in, you are sure to fall in love with it.
Tickets for the event are being sold through BookMyShow and are FREE of cost, so if you have ever picked up that Table Tennis racquet, go ahead and watch the best Indian stars play their heart out.