Besides being a legendary cricketer himself, the former Indian opening batsman and captain is a self-confessed tennis fan. And recently, he has bought stake in the Singapore franchise of veteran Mahesh Bhupati’s ambitious brainchild- the International Premier Tennis League.
In a recent report in The Daily Telegraph, it was revealed that Gavaskar is one of the co-owners of the franchise. The news has been revealed ahead of one of the best Tennis championships, the Wimbledon which gets underway from Monday.
The legendary batsman, who at present stays himself pretty much involved in various cricket related activities such as commentary stated, “I am a big tennis lover and I have followed the careers of Mahesh and his old doubles partner Leander Paes for years.”
The team owners paid USD 15 million for the franchise as is being reported and they are to own the Singapore team for a span of 10 years. The first leg of the tournament will be hosted by Manilla and it has attracted many top players of ATP and WTA tour to compete in the team competition.
As a point to be noted, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Carlos Moya, Kirsten Flipkens, Daniel Nestor will represent Manilla. It is a good sign and prospect that the best players in the world have committed to play in the league, including of world number one Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Murray, Thomas Berdych, Tsonga, Serena Williams, Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and former Champions Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter, Carlos Moya and Goran Ivanisevic.
The league format features a total of 24 matches to be played in the four host cities Manila, Singapore, Mumbai and Dubai from November to December. The teams will compete against each other in one-set men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and legends singles matches and the team that wins the most games (not sets) wins the match tie. Djokovic has hailed the new competition as “revolutionary for tennis.”
It will be keenly seen by the cricket fans as one our cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar is a co-owner of this team.