New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS): Ace Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri will lead the challenge for the Delhi Binny's Brigade during the third edition of the Tennis Premier League (TPL), which will be played from December 9 to 14 at the Celebration Club in Mumbai.
The dates for the tournament was announced in the presence of Yuki, Ankita Bhambri, mentor of the Delhi team, Nandan Bal, mentor of the Chennai Stallions, Zeeshan Ali, Davis Cup coach, co-Founders of TPL, Kunal Thakkur, ex- national player and actor Mrunal Jain and others at an event in the national capital on Saturday, which was also the first of the two 'Talent Days' held to pick the rest of the Delhi squad.
Kashish Bhatia, who won the women's event at the Talent Day and will fill the second women players slot for Delhi Binny's Brigade, while runner-up Prerna Bhambri will turn out for Chennai Stallions.
Yuki, the former junior World No 1, winner of the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship and flagbearer for the Indian Davis Cup squad for many years, will have Manish Suresh Kumar and Thailand's Peangtarn Plipuech as teammates.
The enhanced TPL 3.0 will have India No 1 Ankita Raina and Rutuja Bhosle, besides participation from six international women players, who are Samantha Murray Sharan from Great Britain, ranked 206, Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia, ranked 262, Thailand's Peangtarn Plipuech, ranked 294, Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan, ranked 317, Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine, ranked 379 and Sofia Shapatava.
In the player's auction, held in Mumbai in March this year, Ramkumar Ramanathan emerged the surprise pick, garnering the highest bid of the day of Rs 4.5 lakh, and was picked by the Mumbai Leon Army.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran was picked by Rajasthan Tigers for Rs 3.70 lakh while Saketh Myneni went to Pune Jaguars for Rs 4.40 lakh. Divij Sharan was picked by Gujarat Panthers for 4.10 lakh, while Purav Raja went to the Chennai Stallions for 3 lakh.
Ankita Raina garnered the highest price for women's players, picked by Hyderabad Strikers for 4.10 lakh, while Rutuja Bhosle was picked by Pune Jaguars for Rs 3 lakh.
While each team picked two men's and one women's player at the auction, another men's and women's player for each team will emerge from the Talent Days.
A total of 250 players have already registered for the Delhi Talent day in various categories, who will be vying for the different age group slots on the Delhi team.
Teams and players:
Mumbai Leon Army: Ramkumar Ramanathan, Nikki Poonacha, Sofia Shapatava (Georgia)
Delhi Binny's Brigade: Yuki Bhambri, Manish Suresh Kumar, Peangtarn Plipuech (Thailand)
Chennai Stallions: Purav Raja, Sidharth Rawat, Samantha Murray Sharan (Great Britain)
Bengaluru Spartans: Jeevan N, N Srirama Balaji, Sabina Sharipova (Uzbekistan)
Hyderabad Strikers: Arjun Kadhe, Vishnu Vardhan, Ankita Raina
Rajasthan Tigers: Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Aryan Goveas, Diana Marcinkevica (Latvia)
Gujarat Panthers: Divij Sharan, Vijay Sundar Prashant, Valeryla Strakhova (Ukraine)
Pune Jaguars: Saketh Myneni, Ishaque Iqbal, Rutuja Bhosle