It's always said that cricket is considered a religion in India. Cricketers have enjoyed humongous popularity in the country, on par with Bollywood stars and even some of the big names in politics. That, however, was not the case for other sports persons of the country for a long time. Though stars like Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have been around for a long time, it's only in the last few years that with the likes of Sania Mirza, Vijender Singh, Saina Nehwal, Sushil Kumar, Abhinav Bindra, PV Sindhu and others making India proud on a global level, have attained superstardom.
Moreover, when the Indian Premier League was launched, it was considered among the biggest entities in the sports world and now with the popularity some of the other sports enjoy, more leagues have also started surfacing in the country. Leagues in football, badminton, and even kabaddi, have got good response, and now a tennis league has been launched.
And as we have seen many times before, Bollywood and sports go hand-in-hand, and the launch of the Tennis Premier League also got a Bollywood flavour. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the special guest at the event. The actress came out in style for the event in a black dress. The former Miss World posed with Leander Paes by holding a racket on the stage to announce the launch of the league.
Aishwarya's husband Abhishek Bachchan also co-owns franchises in the football and kabaddi leagues and she and daughter Aaradhya are often spotted for the matches. On the professional front, was seen in 'Fanney Khan' earlier this year. The actress played the role of a popular pop star in the film also starring Anil Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Pihu Sand, among others. Leander is still playing at the age of 45, though talk over his retirement keeps going on.
The Tennis Premier League is an initiative by Mrunal Jain and Kunal Thakur. Other TV actors like Rashami Desai, Tejasswi Prakash, Pooja Gor, have been announced as the faces of some of the teams while Sumona Chakravarthy and Shardul Pandit are also associated with it.
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