Jaipur to host Premier Handball League’s inaugural edition from December 24
Jaipur: The Pink City is ready to witness some fascinating sporting action as the inaugural season of the Premier Handball League (PHL) will take place at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Indoor Stadium from December 24.
The PHL, under the aegis of Handball Federation of India (HFI)—a governing body for the handball in India which administers the functioning of sport in the country, is scheduled from December 24 to January 10, the announcement was made during league’s launch press conference in Jaipur on Saturday.
“This is going to be a significant moment in the Indian handball history as the Premier Handball League will give much needed boost to the sport which has shown immense growth at the grassroots and now aspires to become a medal winning Olympic sports. As a federation our vision is to not only just conduct the league but package it as a product which results in growth of handball and create holistic development of the sport in the country. I’m sure Jaipur will be a great host with the facilities we have here. We are grateful to have received support from the Rajasthan Government while conducting the league,” HFI President Arshnapally Jagan Mohan Rao told media on the sidelines of PHL launch. Rajiv Arora, Vice President of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress, HFI Vice President Anandeshwar Pandey, Thakur Tejraj Singh, HFI, PHL co-promoters Aseem Merchant and Manu Agrawal and CEO Mrinalini Sharma were also present at the launch.
This will be a first time in the history that Rajasthan will host a full season of a national sports league. An 18-day men’s mega event will consist of 30 league matches followed by three knockout games. “This is huge opportunity for Jaipur and the entire state to host a league of such calibre. We believe as a state we have great potentials and more exposure to sports will help us to unearth more homegrown sporting talents. Though spectators will not be able to see live action, I’m sure this league will inspire and expose many local players to the opportunities to play for India” said Rajiv Arora, Vice President, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress.
Ranked 32 in the world, the Indian team will get new impetus with the emergence of the PHL. At the time when the sporting world has been affected due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming Season 1 of PHL will also infuse fresh breath as active sports make comeback. Handball has been identified as a priority sport listed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. “We have close to 80000 registered players playing the game in India. This is huge number considering presence of the sport in the India. Handball is an Olympic sport and India is looked as next big thing by international federation in terms of talent and opportunities. I feel PHL has come at the right time which will help us in our mission for Olympics and build impact of the sport in India,” HFI Vice President Anandeshwar Pandey said.
The Season 1 of the league will have six teams, representing the six states—Telangana Tigers, UP Icons, Maharashtra Handball Hustlers, KingHawks Rajasthan, Bengal Blues and Punjab Pitbulls, battling for the ultimate title. The PHL will see more than 80 players taking part in the inaugural edition as each team will consist of 14 players. The PHL India Sports Private Limited, an official license holder of the league under the aegis of the Handball Federation of India (HFI) and in association with the International Handball Federation and Asian Handball Federation, promises to develop and take this Olympic sports discipline to the next level, ensuring growth and success for the Indian athletes at the global stage.
“I have been aligned with the PHL since its inception and as a promoter of the league and a supporter of handball athletes across India, I firmly feel that we are standing at the anvil of a new tomorrow vis a vis the popularity and growth of handball in India and handball athletes across India and globally. It is always an exciting prospect to create a platform for athletes and be enablers in a wider scheme of things wherein the dream is to ensure our athletes making our nation proud at the Olympics,” PHL Promoter Aseem Merchant said.
The PHL will be broadcasted live on India's one of the premium sports tv networks, Sony Pictures Sports Network while FanCode will bring the exciting action from the league to the fans across the globe online. The matches will also be streamed live on Airtel TV, Jio TV and Sony Liv.