Ultimate Table Tennis 2018: Tournament's second edition to be held in Pune, New Delhi and Kolkata from 14 June
The second edition of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis tournament will be held in Pune, New Delhi and Kolkata from 14 June to 1 July, the organisers said on Wednesday.
Mumbai: The second edition of the CEAT UTT will be held in Pune, New Delhi and Kolkata from 14 June to 1 July, the organisers said on Wednesday.
The 18-day event that attracts some of the world's best players will offer a total prize purse of Rs 3 crore, with the champions taking home Rs 1 crore, the runners-up Rs 75 lakh and the two losing semi-finalists Rs 50 lakh each. The remaining Rs 25 lakh will be given to the top individual performers.
The CEAT UTT will begin on 14 June at the Balewadi Indoor Stadium in Pune before moving to New Delhi's Thyagaraj stadium on 20 June for the second leg.
The bandwagon will then shift to Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium on 26 June, where the grand finale will also be held on 1 July. The inaugural edition was held in Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai.
Speaking on the new venues, MP Singh, Secretary General of TTFI, said, "We are excited to take CEAT UTT to new cities where the fans can enjoy the game at its highest level. The CEAT UTT received great response in the inaugural season and we are ready to kick off another edition of a world class Table Tennis experience for the fans."
The player draft will take place on 28 March in Mumbai. The six teams in the fray have already picked their respective Indian and foreign coaches earlier this month. The coaches, along with their management, have been given time to draw their plans to line up a strong team for the upcoming edition.
Each franchise can retain one Indian player (either male of female) before the player draft. Those who do not opt for this will get the opportunity to pick their first player ahead of those who choose to retain a player.
Kamlesh Mehta, Director 11Sports, said, "We have reduced the number of matches in each tie from nine to seven for this edition, making each contest more compact and competitive. The retention policy adds an extra step of strategy and it will be interesting to see how the six franchisees tackle the player draft on 28 March in Mumbai. Unlike other major sporting leagues in India, the CEAT UTT is a club-based league, rather than city-based, which helps us take the sport to different cities to popularise the game."
In all, the CEAT UTT will have 15 league ties, with each tie played on a seven (as opposed to nine in the inaugural edition) individual match basis. Each individual match will consist of three games on a race to 11, with each game winner being awarded one point. Each league tie will thus have 21 points to play for. The four franchisees with the highest points in the league stage will advance to the semi-finals.
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