The first season of the Premier Handball League (PHL) is only a month away now, with interest in the league hotting up. The initial edition of the league will be played from 8th June 2023 and will go on till the 25th June 2023 in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Highly experienced sports presenter, Mr. Charu Sharma has played pivotal roles in various private leagues in India in varying capacities. He even was the auctioneer for the Premier Handball League auction.
Mr Sharma talked about looking ahead at the PHL with delight as he said, “I'm really excited about the fact that it is a new league and it is getting a new opportunity in our part of the world to move ahead. Handball is an Olympic sport, it's a very popular sport in many parts of the world and so too in India, but it just hasn't had the profile or the pedestal to stand and enjoy the spotlight in our nation. But this Premier Handball League is a massive step to shining the spotlight on the sport, so I am excited about that.”
He went on to talk about why a private handball league was needed in India as he said, “This is the biggest moment for handball in India. Sometimes international success also matters a great deal, but that's once a year or once every five years. More tournaments need to be held in India.
This is not easy but more important than that is a professional league because it shows people who play the sport a way for the future to make a livelihood, because right now you may say that you want to play for the country and you want to win, which is better for the country, but the rewards are not fantastic because if you're not winning medals, then the rewards are not there.”
Charu further added, “The minute there's a professional league, not one, not 12, but hundreds of players will make a living gradually as it will get better and better, and they will get jobs as the whole ecosystem of handball is going to improve rapidly.”
The veteran sports broadcaster then talked about why he feels Handball as a sport will see a boom in popularity and viewership in India. He said, “It is a highly athletic sport. There's constant running around, it's like basketball in a sense and those leaping goals that we see very often there's constant movement and I think for any sport to do well in terms of viewership or in terms of visible impact for all those who are watching on either television or other media or in the stadiums.
The fact that there's constant movement is very engaging for spectators. You can't take your eyes off the court; you can't say I'll see it 5 minutes later because there's such constant movement and action taking place.”
“It's a sport that's relatively without the infrastructure in our country that can rival international facilities. If you play indoors at the highest international level, you require a certain level of sophisticated infrastructure. But it's a sport that you can play out on the ground, anywhere on a lawn or wherever else you want.
I think by seeing these handball players and the overseas stars that are coming in, there will be a lot of interest, especially among youngsters who would want to play the game,” Charu Sharma concluded.