Pitchford to make India return

Paul Stimpson

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Liam Pitchford is heading back to the Ultimate Table Tennis League in India for a second season, having been drafted again by the Falcons team.

Pitchford was a key player for Falcons last season, helping the franchise to win the title and being named the series’ Most Valuable Player.

Once again, six franchises will compete in the league, each featuring eight players – four men and four women, with two of each from India and two from overseas.

Joining Pitchford in the Falcons ranks are Spain’s Alvaro Robles and home players Sanil Shetty and Ronit Bhanja on the men’s side and Bernadette Szocs (Romania), Matilda Ekholm (Sweden), Sutirtha Mukherjee and Priyadarshini Das in the women’s line-up.

The league has attracted some top-quality players and Pitchford could find himself up against the likes of world No 8 Simon Gauzy of France and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, ranked at 17. World no 18 Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the world No 22, are also involved.

The league takes place in Pune from June 14-19 before heading to Delhi from June 20-25 and on to Kolkata from June 26 to July 1.

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