Dhanraj Pillay buys team in Mumbai Table-Tennis League

Dhanraj Pillay M Dhanraj Pillay is the co-owner of Blazing Bashers. (Source: PTI)

Four-time hockey Olympian and ex-India captain Dhanraj Pillay is the co-owner of a team in the Mumbai Super Table Tennis League which held a players’ auction at the NSCI here on Tuesday.

Dhanraj, one of the best-known names in Indian hockey, is the co-owner of Blazing Bashers and said ownership of a team will lead to better involvement in the event.

“I like to see the younger generation come forward and play whichever game they love to play. I am the joint secretary of the Air India Sports Promotion Board and table tennis is one of the games I am involved with in that capacity,” said Pillay at the media conference to announce the details of the MSL which is to be held from July 7-10.

“Last year I was the chief guest at the prize distribution function of this League and was impressed by the passion I saw. I told Kamlesh Mehta (former national table tennis champion and chairperson of MSL’s organising committee) that I want to buy a team if possible.

Money is not important, but (by buying a team) my involvement will be there. You will see me in shorts and T shirt shouting for my team,” said the four-time World Cupper.

Asked why was he not interested in buying a hockey team, Dhanraj said, “I am ready to buy a team in hockey and (Olympian and ex-teammate) Gavin Ferreira is organising a rink hockey tournament and I am planning to do it,” said the 47-year-old one-time wizard, who led India to the Asian Games gold after 32 years in Bangkok in 1998.

Two-time Olympian Mehta, winner of eight men’s national singles titles and also a former India captain, said last year the event was held as an…

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