BFI plans big time women’s league

Chennai, Bengaluru, Kerala, Delhi, Mumbai and Ludhiana, to name a few, are the cities that the BFI is looking to involve.

K. Govindaraj (right), the president of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), says they have bigger plans in store.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has a clear-cut plan – to host a National women’s league over the next few months.

“It’s just a start and we have bigger things in store for the players,” said K. Govindaraj, the BFI President, in an exclusive chat with Sportstar.

“We have formed a committee, discussed the league format, the number of teams and cities to be involved, cash incentives and much more. I expect the whole thing to take shape at the earliest,” he added.

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The BFI is looking at involving five to six cities such as Chennai, Bengaluru, Kerala, Delhi, Mumbai and Ludhiana to name a few. “There is a big attraction for basketball in these cities and so we plan to launch from there,” said Govindaraj.

“It can be six teams in each of these cities and the top two from each city will advance to the main show,” he added.

He said this can throw in new playing opportunities, act as a great motivator for the youngsters and may even open doors for better employment.

The BFI wants to start it as a middle level league and in the next few years elevate it to the next level. “It’s going to be on a trial basis this year as we need to understand a few things before going full throttle,” he said.

How about sponsorship money? “I am not worried about that as we have philanthropists to support us. Trust me, in the next two years the sport in India will take a totally different shape,” said Govindaraj and quickly added that the BFI will also host a three-on-three event for both men and women along with the league.

He said the Federation’s main agenda is the men’s league and it will happen soon after this. “We will have foreign players and it’s going to be really big. We are also simultaneously working on that.”