The phenomenal success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to the rise (and fall) of franchise leagues across sport in India over the last decade. Table tennis joined the flock in 2017, with the introduction of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT). With the pandemic hitting sports industry hard, UTT, despite a strong financial backing by promoters of repute, seems to be struggling to stay afloat, just like its counterparts from other sport.

UTT — a product of 11Sports, a firm with close ties to the promoters of Asian Paints — couldn’t have asked for a better timing to get off the blocks. Within a year since the first edition was held with 24 overseas and as many participants across three cities in India, Indian table tennis was at its all-time high.

Led by the sensational outing of Manika Batra, the Indian contingent returned from the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia,…

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