Defending champions Falcons TTC and Dabang Smashers T.T.C have made an early move ahead of the Player Draft on Wednesday, retaining their top Indian players for the second season of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis.
11SPORTS revealed that Falcons TTC have retained their faith in giant-slayer Sanil Shetty, who won many important games for them on their way to the title in the inaugural season; the Dabang Smashers T.T.C too put their weight behind India’s highest world-ranked player (World No. 49) Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.
The RP-SG Mavericks surprisingly decided against continuing with Sharath Kamal, leaving the eight-time national champion in the Player Draft pool.
Having opted for player retention, Falcons TTC and Dabang Smashers T.T.C will be able to opt for their first player during the Player Draft to be held at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) here on Wednesday only after the other teams have made their choices in the first round.
Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sanil Shetty along with other top Indian table tennis stars Amalraj Anthony, Harmeet Desai, Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar will be lending star value to the draft picks with their presence.
All franchises have been given enough time to plan their strategy for the draft pick, having roped in their Indian and foreign coaches via the coach draft held earlier this month.
The Indian coaches A Muralidhara Rao (Challengers), R Rajesh (Yoddhas), Sachin Shetty (Dabang Smashers T.T.C), Arup Basak (RP-SG Mavericks), N Ravichandran (Maharashtra United) will be playing a key role on Wednesday in making smart choices for their respective teams.
The Players Draft is another big step in the conduct of CEAT UTT Season 2, which will be heading to new venues with a new format this season from June 14, 2018.
Pune’s Balewadi Indoor Stadium will witness the first leg from June 14-19, 2018 before heading to Delhi’s Thyagaraj stadium from June 20-25, 2018. The final leg of the tournament will be played at Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium from June 26 to July 1, 2018.