IPL Twenty20 inspires Indian Tennis League
The IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament has quite literally been the opium of the masses, and encouraged by its staggering success, sports administrators are putting together plans for a similar explosion.The All India Tennis Association has the blueprint ready for the Indian Tennis League, or the ITL.
Anil Khanna, the General Secretary of the All India Tennis Association said the format is modeled on the World Team Tennis played in the United States.
Like the IPL this is also a city-based tournament. Six cities have been chosen (Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata) out of which four will be shortlisted.
Each team/city will have two foreign players, one male and one female former Grand Slam winner, two Indian players and four players from the Under-18 category (two boys and two girls)
Each tie between teams will consist of seven matches, four singles, two doubles and one mixed doubles
The tournament will be a week long affair with the winner being decided on the maximum number of ties won
The tournament is scheduled to be launched in November this year. The All India Tennis Association has little time and much to do, but they know exactly who to get tips from.
With former legends like Jimmy Connors, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Goran Ivanesevic all likely to make ITL a very attractive venture, no-one would benefit more than the youngsters in the country.
The ITL or the Indian Tennis League is something this sport in India is yet to witness. And if the AITA is successful in gathering all its resources within the next few months, then tennis lovers in India are guaranteed for some exciting times ahead.