Cycle Polo League from Nov. 25

Five teams will be playing in the inaugural edition which includes 40 Indian and 10 foreign players.

Cycle Polo star Assarudeen Sha. Photo: Anant Kaur

The first ever Cycle Polo League (CPL) will be played at the Rajasthan Polo Club in Jaipur starting from November 25 to 29.

Five teams will be playing in the inaugural edition which includes 40 Indian and 10 foreign players. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Cycling Polo Federation of India’s member State associations will help in bringing the game to the masses.

Important development

Cycle Polo, an exhibition sport at the 1908 London Olympics, was played in summer months by royal families of Jaipur, Baria and Patiala, to name a few.

Air Marshal P.P. Bapat pointed towards India’s performance in the World Cycle Polo Championships and the importance of this league, “It’s a very important development for the game of cycle polo in India. After participating and winning medals in seven World Cycle Polo Championships it was high time that the game got its due recognition. I believe the Cycle Polo League is the first step in that direction.”

Veteran cycle polo promoter, Yashwant Singh of Alwar, was delighted. “This is great development for this exciting sport. I am so happy there is money to be made by the players now. I am sure it will catch up with the masses because the equipment is not expensive.”

Government support

There is a lot of difference between polo and cycle polo. In polo it’s all about controlling the horse and hitting the ball. However, in cycle polo, the challenge is to ride and control the bicycle on your own.

Popular player Assarudeen Sha shared his experience. “I was a national football player from Kerala but when I played this game I fell in love with it. It’s all about balance, agility and mental sharpness. Our feet are in the air, we have to control the cycle and manage to make our shots. We need to be in action all the time.” Sha also pleaded for government support.

An Indian team will travel to Argentina in December to participate in the World Championship.

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