The third edition of the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) will begin on Thursday when defending champions Dabang Delhi lock horns with Puneri Paltan in the season-opener here.
India’s top paddlers including Sathiyan G, Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal and a number of foreign stars will battle it out over the next three weeks in the league which offers prize purse of Rs 2 crore.
Among the six teams in fray, three of them (Puneri Paltan, Chennai Lions and U Mumba) will be making their debut.
In the opening match, Sathiyan-led Delhi will begin the defence of their title when they take on Puneri Paltan that boast of the recently-concluded Commonwealth Championship gold medallists Harmeet Desai and Ahyika Mukherjee.
Sporting a rejigged shorter format this season, each team will play five ties — compared to seven last year — with a match decided over three games. If the scores are tied at 10-all, a golden point shall decide the winner.
The league will also adopt the city-based league culture, for the first time, with all six teams from different cities.
“I feel immensely happy to see table tennis grow leaps and bounds in recent times. Having a league like the UTT that combines the best of talent and skill, makes it a great platform for youngsters to flourish. It will also boost India’s Olympic medal hopes,” said Prem Verma, working president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).