A league of their own

By: | Published: September 27, 2015 12:03 AM

Badminton, hockey, tennis and even wrestling in the near future—the landscape of Indian sports has completely changed with the arrival of the professional league format.

Gone are the days when only the Indian Premier League, with its marriage of cricket and entertainment, ruled our television sets. While the indigenous sport of kabaddi has got a new lease of life, thanks to Pro Kabaddi League, the Indian Super League—now in its second edition and starting from October 3 this year—is striving to achieve its goal of getting football to every household. Badminton, hockey, tennis and even wrestling in the near future—the
landscape of Indian sports has completely changed with the arrival of the professional league format.

Here’s a look at some of the major league tournaments that are currently underway…

INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE

Inaugural season: Oct 12 – Dec 20, 2014
Current season (2nd): Oct 3 – Dec 20, 2015
Title sponsor: Hero
Associate sponsors: Maruti Suzuki, Flipkart
Co-promoted by: IMG-Reliance, Star India
(supported by All India Football Federation)

FRANCHISES:

Atletico de Kolkata
Owners: Atletico de Madrid (Spain), Sanjiv Goenka, Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Utsav Parekh
Marquee player: Helder Postiga (Portugal)

Chennaiyin FC
Owners: MS Dhoni, Abhishek Bachchan, Vita Dani
Marquee player: Elano Blumer (Brazil)

Delhi Dynamos FC
Owner: DEN Soccer (DEN Networks)
Marquee player-manager: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)

FC Goa
Owners: Venugopal N Dhoot , Dattaraj Salgaocar, Shrinivas Dempo, Virat Kohli
Marquee player: Lucio (Brazil)

FC Pune City
Owners: Rajesh Wadhawan Group, Hrithik Roshan, ACF Fiorentina
Marquee player: Adrian Mutu (Romania)

Kerala Blasters FC
Owners: Sachin Tendulkar, Prasad V Potluri
Marquee player: Carlos Marchena (Spain)
Mumbai City FC
Owners: Ranbir Kapoor, Bimal Parekh
Marquee player-manager: Nicolas Anelka (France)

North East
United FC
Owner: John Abraham
Marquee player: Simao Sabrosa (Portugal)

FACTS & FIGURES:

429 million
watched the inaugural ISL season live on their television screens, as per TAM data

26,000
per match was the average attendance. This made ISL the fourth most attended league in the world last year

57 million
watched the final played out between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata

WATCH OUT FOR…

** Players from the I-League who were picked up in ISL’s first-ever auction that was held recently for the upcoming season. Pick of the lot: Sunil Chhetri (bought for R1.2 crore by Mumbai City FC)
** The other Indian players who will be keen to perform on the big stage include the likes of Eugeneson Lyngdoh (bought for R1.05 crore by FC Pune City), Thoi Singh (bought by Chennaiyin FC for Rs 86 lakh), Jackichand Singh (bought by FC Pune City for R45 lakh) and Rino Anto, who was bought by Atletico de Kolkata for Rs 90 lakh
** The new marquee players, the likes of Adrian Mutu (previous clubs include Chelsea), Elano Blumer (previous clubs include Manchester City), Nicolas Anelka (previous clubs include Chelsea), have played in England’s Barclays Premier League. On the other hand, Simao Sabrosa (previous clubs include Benfica, Atletico Madrid) and Lucio (previous clubs include Bayern Munich and Inter Milan) have plied their trades for some of Europe’s elite clubs.

INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

Inaugural season: April 18 – June 1, 2008
Current season (8th): April 8 – May 24, 2015
Current champions: Mumbai Indians
Title sponsors: PepsiCo (DLF: 2008-2012)

FRANCHISES

Delhi Daredevils
Owner: GMR Sports
Captain: JP Duminy (South Africa)

Kings XI Punjab
Owners: Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia,
Mohit Burman,
Karan Paul, The Oberoi Group
Captain: George Bailey (Australia)

Kolkata Knight Riders
Owners: Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta
Captain: Gautam Gambhir (India)

Mumbai Indians
Owner: IndiaWin Sports (Reliance Industries)
Captain: Rohit Sharma (India)

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Owner: Vijay Mallya
Captain: Virat Kohli (India)

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Owner: Kalanidhi Maran (Sun Group)
Captain: David Warner (Australia)

FACTS & FIGURES

Suspended teams: Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals

Defunct teams: Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Pune Warriors India, Deccan Chargers

Most titles: Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians (two each)

Most wickets: 143
Lasith Malinga

Most runs: 3,699
Suresh Raina
The viewership of the 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League was 21% higher than the 2014 season

Spending big: Collectively, the eight franchises spent Rs 87.60 crore on 67 players in the 2015 auction

Prized possession:
The most expensive player in the 2015 auction turned out to be Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who was picked up by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 16 crore

What Next:

** Two new franchises (the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for two years owing to spot-fixing allegations. It is likely that two new teams could enter the league to avoid conducting the tournament with only six teams)

INTERNATIONAL PREMIER TENNIS LEAGUE

Inaugural season: Nov 28 – Dec 13, 2014
Current season (2nd): Dec 2 – Dec 20, 2015 (India leg: Dec 10-12)
Current champions: Indian Aces
Title sponsor: Coca-Cola
Other sponsors: Audi, FedEx, Qatar Airways

FRANCHISES

Indian Aces
Owners: Gulshan Jhurani (co-owner)
Key players: Rafael Nadal (Spain), Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna (India), Gael Monfils (France)

Japan Warriors
Owner: To be announced (new franchise)
Key players: Kei Nishikori (Japan), Kurumi Nara (Japan), Leander Paes (India), Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia), Maria Sharapova (Russia), Marat Safin (Russia)

Philippine Mavericks
Owners: Jean Henri Lhuillier, Hans T Sy, Kevin Belmonte, Haresh Hiranand and Bala Swaminathan
Key players: Serena Williams (US), Mark Philippoussis (Australia), Richard Gasquet (France), Treat Huey (Philippines), Sabine Lisicki (Germany)

Singapore Slammers
Owners: Prateek Gupta
Key players: Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Nick Kyrgios (Australia), Carlos Moya (Spain), Marcelo Melo (Brazil), Belinda Bencic (Switzerland)

UAE Royals
Owners: Sachin Gadoya, Rahul Saharia, Neelesh Bhatnagar and Virat Kohli
Key players: Roger Federer (Switzerland), Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia), Ana Ivanovic (Serbia), Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic), Daniel Nestor (Canada)

FACTS & FIGURES

Season 1 telecast in 108 countries; viewership of approximately 43 million

This year, the IPTL’s reach is expected to expand to around 125 countries

WATCH OUT FOR…

** Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard will make his debut in IPTL’s second season and lead the Indian Aces as its marquee player. Lovers of the Nadal-Roger Federer rivalry will have the chance to see both of them on court, when the Indian Aces take on Federer’s UAE Royals on December 12, 2015.

PRO KABADDI LEAGUE

Inaugural season: July 26 – Aug 31, 2014
Latest season (2nd): July 18 – Aug 23, 2015
Current champions: U Mumba
Title sponsor: Star Sports
Other sponsors: Flipkart, TVS, VIP Frenchie, department of atomic energy, Thums Up, Bajaj, Mahindra Jeeto,
State Bank of India

FRANCHISES

U-Mumba
Owner: Ronnie Screwvala (Unilazer Sports)
Marquee players: Anup Kumar, Shabeer Bapu, Rishank Devadiga, Vishal Mane, Fazel Atrachali (Iran)

Bengal Warriors
Owners: Future Group
Marquee players: Dinesh Kumar, Jang-kun Lee (S Korea), Nilesh ShindeJaipur

Pink Panthers
Owner: Abhishek Bachchan
Marquee players: Jasvir Singh, Navneet Gautam, Rohit Rana

Bengaluru Bulls
Owner: Kosmik Global Media
Marquee players: Manjeet Chillar, Ajay Thakur, Dharmaraj Cherlathan

Telugu Titans
Owner: Srinivas Sreeramaneni (Veera Sports)
Marquee players: Rahul Chaudhari, Sukesh Hegde, Deepak Hudda, Hadi Oshtorak (Iran), Meraj Shaykh (Iran)

Puneri Paltan
Owner: Insurekot Sports
Marquee players: Wazir Singh

Patna Pirates
Owner: Rajesh V Shah
Marquee players: Rakesh Kumar, Sandeep Narwal, Ravi Dalal, Tae deok Eom (S Korea), Waseem Sajjad (Pakistan)

Dabang Delhi
Owner: DoIT Sports Management (India)
Marquee players: Kashiling Adake, Ravinder Pahal

FACTS & FIGURES

The Pro Kabaddi League’s second season not only had a big impact in terms of TV viewership, but it also made inroads into the online platforms. It had 26 million unique online viewers. The league also recorded a growth of 53% in TV viewership over the first season

** Although the Pro Kabaddi League is an initiative of the Charu Sharma-led Mashal Sports, the league is also backed by the International Kabaddi Federation, the Asian Kabaddi Federation and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India
** The Pro Kabaddi League has its own derby or cross-town rivalry match. The match between U Mumba (Mumbai)
and the Puneri Paltan (Pune) is called the ‘MAHA’ derby.

HOCKEY INDIA LEAGUE

Inaugural season: Jan 14 – Feb 10, 2013
Upcoming season (3rd): Jan 22 – Feb 22, 2016
Current champions: Ranchi Rays
Title sponsor: To be announced

FRANCHISES

Dabang Mumbai
Owner: DoIT Sports Management (India)
Key player: Florian Fuchs (Germany)

Delhi Wave Riders
Owner: Wave Group, John Abraham
Key players: Mandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh (India)

Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Owner: Jaypee Sports International (Jaypee Group)
Key player: Sardar Singh (India)

Kalinga Lancers
Owners: Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation,
Mahanadi Coalfield
Key player: Moritz Fuerste (Germany)

Ranchi Rays
Owners: Sahara Rays (Sahara India Pariwar), MS Dhoni
Key player: Sandeep Singh (India)

Uttar Pradesh Wizards
Owners: Sahara India Pariwar
Key players: Akashdeep Singh, Sreejesh PR (India), Jamie Dwyer (Australia), Tobias Hauke (Germany)

FACTS & FIGURES

** The inaugural edition of the Hockey India League was able to attract around 41.4 million viewers and generated ad revenues worth Rs 60-Rs 70 crore
** While forward Akashdeep Singh (bought by UP Wizards for $84,000) was the most expensive Indian player at the HIL Auction 2015, Germans Moritz Fuerste (bought by Kalinga Lancers for $105,000) and Florian Fuchs (bought by Dabang Mumbai for $96,000) were the two players who commanded the highest bids

INDIAN BADMINTON LEAGUE

Inaugural season: Aug 14 – Aug 31, 2013
Defending champions: Hyderabad Hotshots
Title sponsor: To be announced
Upcoming season (2nd): January 2016

FRANCHISES

Hyderabad Hotshots
Owner: PVP Group
Key player: Saina Nehwal

Mumbai Marathas
Owners: Sunil Gavaskar, Nagarjuna, V Chamundeswarnath
Key player: Lee Chong Wei

Banga Beats
Owner: BOP Group
Key player: P Kashyap

Pune Pistons*
Owner: Burman family
Key player: Ashwini Ponnappa

Delhi Smashers
Owner: Krrish Group
Key player: Jwala Gutta

Awadhe Warriors
Owner: Sahara India Pariwar
Key player: PV Sindhu

* Talks on to replace Pune with Chennai, say reports

FACTS & FIGURES

The first season of the IBL was watched by 21.7 million people on Star Sports

Coming soon

PRO WRESTLING LEAGUE
Inaugural season: Nov 8 – 29, 2015
Franchises: Six city-based teams with the world’s top 66 wrestlers. Each team will consist of 11 players (six male, five female). Every team will have six Indians and five foreigners
Prize money: Rs 5 crore (Rs 3 crore to be given to the team that finishes first and Rs 2 crore for the top players)
Big names: PWL could rope in some of the best players from the world of wrestling, but expect the likes of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Amit Kumar and Geeta Phogat

INDIAN TABLE-TENNIS LEAGUE
Inaugural season: May-June 2016
Franchises: The franchise-based event will be the first ever league to get a dedicated window by the International Table Tennis Federation. There will be eight teams competing in the league
Prize money: Rs 1 crore

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