Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra headlines UTT Season 4

Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra headline UTT Season 4

May 20, 2023

Ace paddler Quadri Aruna will spearhead a strong players line-up for Season 4 of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), which will also feature Indian stars like Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra.

African great Quadri Aruna, who is currently ranked 12th in the world and played in the first two seasons of UTT, makes his return to India for a third time. Besides Aruna, World No. 32 Benedikt Duda of Germany, World No. 34 Omar Assar of Egypt, and Alvaro Robles of Spain, who won a Doubles Silver at the 2019 World Championships, will also be part of UTT Season 4, scheduled to be held at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune from July 13–30.

The USA’s Lily Zhang (World No. 24), Australia’s Yangzi Liu (World No. 32), Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut (World No. 33) and Barbora Balážová of Slovakia (World No. 44) will be part of the international women’s players roster in the draft pool.

Veteran paddler Sharath Kamal, who holds the record of ten national titles, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who is India’s top-ranked men’s player at the moment (World No. 51), and World No. 39 Manika Batra will headline the Indian line-up along with some of the promising young talents such as reigning national champion Sreeja Akula, who has just won back-to-back Nationals Titles, U-19 boys national title holder Payas Jain, Diya Chitale, R Snehit and Ankur Bhattacharjee.

The franchise-based league is promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the auspices of the Table Tennis Federation of India. The upcoming UTT season will feature six teams: Bengaluru Smashers, Chennai Lions, Dabang Delhi TTC, Goa Challengers, Puneri Paltan Table Tennis and U Mumba TT.

After recently picking their coaches at the UTT Season 4 Coach Draft, each franchise will now look to build a strong six-member squad at the UTT Season 4 Player Draft, scheduled to be held in Mumbai next month. From a pool of 40 available players, each team can choose two foreigners—one male and one female—and four Indians—two male and two female. Each team withhold the right to retain one player from the previous season.

Foreign Players
Quadri Aruna (NGR, WR12)Lily Zhang (USA, WR24)
Kirill Gerassimenko (KAZ, WR54)Suthasini Sawettabut (THA, WR33)
Benedikt Duda (GER, WR32)Natalia Bajor (POL, WR54)
Jon Persson (SWE, WR50)Barbora Balážová (SVK, WR44)
Alvaro Robles (ESP, WR43)Hana Matelová (CZE, WR53)
Omar Assar (EGY, WR34)Yangzi Liu (AUS, WR32)
Indian Players
Sathiyan GnanasekaranSreeja Akula
Manush ShahSutirtha Mukherjee
Harmeet DesaiDiya Chitale
Manav ThakkarReeth Rishya
Achanta Sharath KamalAyhika Mukherjee
Sanil ShettyManika Batra
Snehit SFRMoumita Dutta
Anirban GhoshAnusha Kutumbale
Sudhanshu GroverArchana Kamath
Jeet ChandraPoymantee Baisya
Ronit BhanjaMouma Das
Anthony AmalrajTakeme Sarkar
Payas JainPrapti Sen
Ankur BhattacharjeeKrittwika Sinha Roy

(Rankings mentioned are as per the latest updated by the International Table Tennis Federation on May 16, 2023)

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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