November 2014 will see not one, but two tennis leagues kick off with the Vijay Amritraj-backed Champions Tennis League (CTL) joining the Mahesh Bhupathi-backed International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).
Despite tennis being a sport where the top professionals often complain about the calendar being cramped, Amritraj said the new league, which will be held in the off-season, will have no issues signing international and Indian players to participate.
No participation issues
"Based on the conversations we have had with the players and their agents, we believe player participation will not be a problem.
"The tournament itself is only for a 10-day duration with a team having to play a maximum of five matches. There will be a one-set format," Amritraj told mid-day over the phone from the USA.
'No clash with IPTL'
The launch of the CTL has led some to wonder if the league will be a rival to the IPTL. However, Amritraj is quick to shoot down such theories.
"CTL is not a rival league to the IPTL. In fact, the CTL will be complimentary to IPTL as this league only has Indian franchises while IPTL has franchises based all over Asia.
"The dates of the two tournaments also don't clash as the CTL gets over just days before the IPTL begins," Amritraj said. The CTL will run from November 17 to 26 while the IPTL will be played from Nov 28 to December 20.
While the IPTL draft was conducted with utmost secrecy, the CTL draft will happen in the public eye, added the former India player.
"The draft will be entirely public and will be held in the presence of international media. There will be only 24 players in the draft (six legends, six male international stars, six female international stars and six Indian players)," he said.
However, Amritraj was tight-lipped about the players being approached for the league or the owners who had bought the franchises.