UTT reduces matches, alters venues

Kamlesh Mehta, director of 11Sports, the promoter of the UTT league, said that the objective of reducing the number of matches is to make “each contest more compact and competitive”.

After the inaugural edition, in July 2017, received lukewarm spectator support in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, 11Sports and the TTFI have decided to try out new venues. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images

In order to reduce the duration of each tie, the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) has reduced the number of matches in each tie from nine to seven for the second edition, to be played in Pune, Delhi and Kolkata, from June 14 to July 1.

While announcing various plans for the second season of the franchise-based table tennis league Kamlesh Mehta, director of 11Sports, the promoter of the league, said that the objective of reducing the number of matches is to make “each contest more compact and competitive”.

READ: Sharath, Sathiyan top Indians at UTT 2

After the inaugural edition in July 2017 received lukewarm spectator support in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, 11Sports and the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) have decided to try out new venues. The UTT frenzy will start in Pune, from June 14 to 19, will move to Delhi, from June 20 to 25, before the last leg in Kolkata, from June 26.

While TTFI secretary-general M. P. Singh welcomed the addition of new cities, for the six-team league, Mehta explained the rationale behind introducing the league to new venues. “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,” said the eight-time national champion.

“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 March 28th, in Mumbai,” he added.