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Maharashtra Ironmen owner Punit Balan believes PHL can take handball to masses

Maharashtra Ironmen owner Punit Balan believes PHL can take handball to masses

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 May 2023 10:39 AM GMT

The inaugural edition of the Premier Handball League (PHL) is set to kick off on the 8th of June with six teams raring to fight for the top prize. The auction which concluded recently saw 102 players getting picked by six franchises for the first season of the competition.

One of the six franchises in the inaugural season, Maharashtra Ironmen is owned by entrepreneur Punit Balan, who is a big-time Olympic sports enthusiast and is known for his investments across the sporting landscape in India.

On the sidelines of the auction, Punit explained his decision to invest in the inaugural edition of the Premier Handball League.

"We as a group support a lot of non-cricketing sports and leagues. Handball is a thrilling game that is fast and has a lot of energy. It is an Olympic sport that is popular globally. The decision to invest in Handball was an easy one," Punit told The Bridge.

Explaining further the importance of taking the initiative, Punit said, "Someone has to step up to take the initiative like Manu Agarwal (Founder, PHL) and his team has done. All the stakeholders like franchise owners and league owners will bring the focus to the game."

India has seen, in recent years, a huge wave of commercialisation of different sports, lifting them out of obscurity and giving them a new lease of life, packaged with competitiveness and entertainment.

Citing the example of Kabaddi, Punit underlined how such leagues can change the fortune of any game. "One of the best examples of a league changing any game's fortune is Pro Kabaddi League. Kabaddi came into the limelight and now it is extremely popular. Similarly, the Handball League will bring the game into focus and make it reach the masses," said Punit.

An Olympic sport enthusiast, Punit Balan aims to promote upcoming talent in Handball.

"Through PHL, we will look to transform this new-age sport. Through this partnership, we are keen to create the right amount of entertainment to make the sport of Handball a household sport. We believe in supporting the current and upcoming talent and our focus will be to unearth promising handball players from the region and nurture them so that they become the face of the sport in times to come," Punit said during the launch of the team Maharashtra Ironmen.

"As professionals are running it, I think the first season will be as exciting as any other league I have been a part of," Punit concluded.

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