Niraj Bajaj: ‘Ultimate Ping Pong a huge platform for Indians’

Bajaj said it is endearing to see Indians do well at ITTF Challenger events [Soummyajit Ghosh won the Challenger singles and doubles titles (with A. Amalraj) in Chile last month.

Former India No.1 Niraj Bajaj with Vita Dani, Chairperson, Eleven Sports Private Limited.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Former National table tennis champion and India captain Niraj Bajaj, who has joined hands with promoters 11even Sports Private Limited (ESPL) to promote the ambitious new league — Ultimate Ping Pong (UPP) , said the league will provide a huge platform for Indians to play alongside some of the world’s best paddlers, and improve their skill level.

“..... we need to break into the top bracket and having UPP will provide our players a great platform to rub shoulders with the world's best and help them improve their skill level,” said the 62-year-old, who was world ranked seven once. “It’s [the league] going to be a game-changer.”

Bajaj said it is endearing to see Indians do well at ITTF Challenger events [Soummyajit Ghosh won the Challenger singles and doubles titles (with A. Amalraj) in Chile last month. “Yes, it is very encouraging to see Indian players win medals in ITTF Challenger events. UPP will only add to their stature as they will have opportunity to play, train and be together with top ranked World players as team members for three weeks in India,” he said.

Having quit competitive table tennis when he was at his peak — at 22 — Bajaj said it’s nice to be back and give something back to the sport. “[I] could have certainly continued playing for few more years. I had memorable years playing the game and had the honour to captain the Indian Team. Family business priorities was one of the reasons for that decision. Being an Arjuna Awardee was surely one of the main reasons to join UPP. It is a dream come true for me to give back to the game which has given me so much,” he said, while hoping that the franchise-based league will give the sport a great filip as it has done for other sports like cricket, football and kabaddi.

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