Mumbai gears up for a Pickleball-filled weekend

PSC will see India’s top players in action, starting Friday, November 16

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One of the fastest-growing games in the United States of America, Pickleball, is set to take off in Mumbai in a big way with the country’s top players locking horns in the Ekta World Pickleball Super Cup powered by DCB Bank here at the Khar Gymkhana Club from Friday.          

The six-team affair, with six players in each team, is being organised by the All-India Pickleball Association (AIPA) along with SportsCast.

A combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis, Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court (indoor & outdoor) and is fast emerging as one of the most popular new games around the world. It has a net similar to tennis while the ‘paddle’ is slightly larger than a TT bat. The ball is similar to a plastic wiffle ball and can be hit on the full on after a bounce.  

The sport is already popular in certain pockets of India, with Maharashtra being its main hub. A number of players, including India’s No. 1 Atul Edward, Manish Rao and Bhushan Potnis, have already become stars in their own right. 

Sunil Valavalkar, general secretary of AIPA, believes events such as the Pickleball Super Cup (PSC) will help the sport grow in the country. “We at AIPA are happy with this new initiative of Sportscast as it will open new opportunities to the players of Pickleball.

“AIPA always aspires to take Pickleball to every corner of the country and the PSC is one step towards that goal,” he said.

As the curtain goes up on the three-day competition on November 16, fans can expect to see a thrilling contest between Dink Killers and Super Smashers. Ekta Parivaar, Mixed Pickles, Phantom Stars and Pickloholics are the other four teams.

The introductory event will be played in a round-robin format, with each tie consisting of 5 matches (4 doubles and 1 singles), each played over 3 games and 11 points. As every game will be worth one point, the contest will not be over until the last fixture in each tie.

“Pickleball is a very popular game. It is fun to play and easy to understand. We are sure, it is going to become a new fad among young and old alike,” Jigar Rambhia of SportsCast said on the eve of the tournament opener.  

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