Banished Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra launches poker league to 'put India on global map'
Raj Kundra said: 'Through this (poker) league we want to change the perception (that) it's just gaming and gambling. We are confident we will succeed in attracting more and more youngsters to the sport.'
It has been nearly two years since businessman and ex-Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra was banished from all cricketing activity along with Chennai Super Kings team official Gurunath Meiyappan by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee for indulging in betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While Kundra, who used to co-own the Rajasthan team along with Bollywood actress and wife Shilpa Shetty, remains banned from participating in any cricket-related activity for life, he will not stop himself from looking towards other sports.
In an event in Mumbai on Tuesday, Kundra launched a league-based event, although this one pertains to the card-based game of poker. According to a report in Mid Day, Kundra stated that the Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) will help change the perception of the sport in India.
"Through this league we want to change the perception (that) it's just gaming and gambling. We are confident that with this new league, we will succeed in attracting more and more youngsters to the sport," Kundra said at the event, which was also attended by Shetty as well as International Federation of Poker (IFP) chief Patrick Nally.
The similarity in the initials of Kundra's latest venture and BCCI's lucrative T20 league aside, the former was confident of the MIPL putting India on the global poker map.
"This is an ideal opportunity to put India on the global poker map. The winning team here will play as Team India at the World Cup," Kundra was quoted as saying according to a report on The Indian Express.
The tournament, which will feature eight franchises, will take place in Mumbai on 14 and 15 October. The winning team "will represent Team India in the World Cup", according to an entry in the league's official website. It has the official sanction as well as backing of both the International Federation of Poker, as well as the Indian Federation of Poker.
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