India To Launch World’s First Professional Pickleball League

New Delhi: India’s emergence as a powerhouse for racquet sports is set to receive a massive boost with the launch of the World Pickleball League (WPBL), world’s first-ever professional pickleball competition.

Spearheaded by Natekar Sports and Gaming (NSG), led by former tennis Davis Cup star and Arjuna awardee Gaurav Natekar and Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India (SETVI), the league aims to elevate pickleball’s status, a sport blending tennis, table tennis, and badminton, gaining worldwide popularity.

With over 35 years of expertise in various sporting roles, Natekar champions the league’s launch, citing pickleball’s accessibility and inclusivity across age and gender spectrums, democratising sports participation.

The inaugural season will feature six franchises battling for supremacy, each comprising five to eight players, including international talents. Emphasizing local talent, teams are mandated to include Indian and junior players, fostering skill development alongside global stars.

Arvind Prabhoo, President of All India Pickleball Federation and International Pickleball Federation, applauds the league’s inception, foreseeing a transformative impact on the sport’s trajectory within the nation.

Pickleball’s exponential growth in India since 2008, with over 30,000 amateur and 8000 registered players across 18 states, highlights its burgeoning popularity.

Renowned for its adaptability and accessibility, the sport’s allure spans generations, with enthusiasts aged seven to 70, positioning it as a premier recreational and competitive sport globally.

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