Just days after Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh and Garvit Gujarat were announced as a part of the Premier Handball League (PHL), two more teams – Telugu Talons and Delhi Panzers have joined PHL adding to the pan India appeal of the inaugural edition of the league.
The team from Hyderabad is owned by Mr Abhishek Reddy Kankanala. Abhishek is a prominent sports entrepreneur and is known for his involvement in various sports, including volleyball (Hyderabad Black Hawks), badminton, golf, and other league teams. The team will represent the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Abhishek believes that handball has a similar opportunity within the Premier Handball League to give many potential athletes a chance to shine and possibly bring more attention to this Olympic sport.
Speaking about his association with the Premier Handball League, Mr Abhishek Reddy Kankanala, said, "I am thrilled to venture into the world of handball and support these incredible athletes. Handball is an exciting and engaging sport, and I believe it has immense potential to grow in popularity, especially in India. I am committed to developing the Telugu Talons to compete at the highest level within the Premier Handball League and to bring a new sense of pride and accomplishment to the handball community, both nationally and internationally."
Meanwhile, Panzers is principally owned by Mr. Vineet Bhandari, Founder and Managing Director (MD) of Bhandari Sports Private Limited. Vineet is a sports entrepreneur with a keen interest in handball, volleyball, and basketball. His team, the Kolkata Thunderbolts in volleyball, won the league's debut season championship under his ownership. The team is also co-owned by Rajat Agarwal – a second-generation businessman, and Sailesh Arya –MD of Imperial Infrastructure & Dredging Pvt. Ltd. and CEO of Heritage Group of Companies. The venture marks Rajat and Sailesh's entry into the world of sports investing.
"I love playing handball, and when I heard that a professional league was starting in my nation, I knew I had to be a part of it. Vineet Bhandari expressed his excitement about helping to construct this squad, grow the sport in the area, and support these outstanding individuals. "Handball is a fun and interesting sport, and I think it has a huge future for growth, especially in India. Rajat and Sailesh stated, "We are dedicated to building the Delhi Panzers to compete at the pinnacle of the Premier Handball League and to instil a new feeling of pride and accomplishment into the handball community, both regionally and nationally.
"I welcome both team owners to the Premier Handball League family. Both the team owners are heavily experienced when it comes to leading successful sporting ventures and have heavily invested in the Indian sporting system all along. Handball is one of the most exciting Olympic sports there is a huge potential, and we have seen that there is no dearth of talent. Now, it is our responsibility to build a strong foundation for the sport in the country and, at the same time, ensure that the league receives eyeballs via all possible mediums. I am sure that the league will capture the imagination of Indian sports fans," said Manu Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Bluesport Entertainment Private Limited.
The auctions for the Premier Handball League will be held on April 23, 2023 – Sunday at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.