Mumbai: Leading Indian women paddlers, Madhurika Patkar and Manika Batra, believe that the Ultimate Table Tennis league, whose inaugural edition is to be held in July, will help the sport grow and benefit players.
"UTT will benefit the sport in India. I will be staying with other foreign players (during the tournament). When we stay together, we benefit in terms of confidence mentally, among other things," former national champion Madhurika told PTI on Thursday.
Madhurika, currently ranked No 3 in India who will be representing Dabang Smashers in the League, said she was not specifically preparing for UTT but was focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
"Honestly speaking we don't prepare for a particular tournament at this point. We as a (national) team are preparing for the next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia".
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Anthony Amalraj are Madhurika's Indian teammates in the UTT and all of them are playing currently in the Central Zone TT in Indore.
Madhurika pointed out that the emergence of leagues in India has benefited that particular sport, be it the Indian Premier League for cricket or the Indian Super League for Football, through its live telecast.
"Likewise, UTT will benefit table tennis. Star Sports will broadcast the league and that will also help the sport to reach the masses," she said.
Some men table tennis players have said recently that the league could have been held over two months instead of from 13 July to 30 in three cities - Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.
Reacting to their views, Madhurika said,"Presently, the league is for one month. We can take two leagues in one year".
Echoing similar views Manika Batra, who represented India in the 2016 Rio Olympics, noted that the UTT was a great opportunity for all young players to play with and against good ranked players.
"This league will help a lot of players in India and table tennis will also be benefited. It is a good opportunity for players," said Manika, who will play for Oilmax Stag Yoddhas, in the league.
The India junior No 1 said she was excited to play with higher-ranked foreign players.
"It (UTT) is a good preparation for next year's Commonwealth Games. When we play with these foreign players, we will get to know each other and how they play and it will help us
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Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 18:33:03 IST