The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Sharp Shooters in Darts Premier League

Darts is a popular game all over the world for ages. It is a professional competitive sport too, with professional championships being held since 1978 (Like BDO World Championship). It is a popular pub game commonly played in the UK, some other European countries and the US.

One interesting aspect about darts is that you start with a points kitty, and play to gradually bring it to zero.

It has become popular in India too, though far from what it is in Europe and America. All India Darts Association was formed in 2000 and it has traveled a long distance in popularizing this inexpensive sport which demands hand and eye coordination. It has distributed free dart boards to many schools, clubs and even individuals who it thought had demonstrated a tremendous potential to grow. It has done a plethora of events, including competitions at all levels like clubs, schools, corporates, states, zonal up to national level, to popularize the game and has remodeled it from a game of elite to a game for the ordinary mass. It has sent Indian teams to various international competitions like Asia Pacific Cup, Singapore Open, Malaysian Open, Philippines Open, Winmau World Masters and World Cup Darts where around seventy one affiliated countries of World Darts Federation participate. At present, All India Darts Association has fifteen affiliated state associations.

Darting in India is set to be more exciting and glamorous now as National Darts Academy in association with All India Darts Association announced the launch of the inaugural edition of Darts Premier League, India’s first franchise-based darts tournament to be held in Kolkata.

Darts Premier League will be played amongst nine teams in a round robin format from 5th June 2016. Each team will have nine players out of which one will be the marquee player. The players of each team were selected through an auction held on 12th May at CC & FC. The price cap of each franchise was Rs 1,00,000 for the inaugural year.

 Pre-event party for Darts Premier League

To make for the glamour bit, every team has a celebrity brand ambassador. Here’s a look at the teams:

  • Sharp Shooters owned by Firdausul Hasan who is a producer of Bengali films. Gargi Roychowdhury is the brand ambassador.

  • Shining Stars owned by Dilip Singh Mehta of Multicon Group. The brand ambassador is Rituparna Sengupta.

  • Aauris Strikers owned by Tajender Singh Saini of Aauris. Their brand ambassador is actor Parijat Chakraborty.

  • Apollo Arrows owned by Dr. Rupali Basu, CEO- East, Apollo Hospitals. Ananya Chatterjee is the brand ambassador.

  • Tungsten Creed owned by Raghav Mundra of Simplex. Its brand ambassador is Arunima Ghosh.

  • Warriors owned by Sarbani Malik. Their brand ambassador is Ushasie Chakraborty.

  • Eklavya owned by Amit Tibrewal of Amit International. They’ve signed up Rachel White (who acted in Har Har Byomkesh) as the brand ambassador.

  • Arrow Heads owned by AD Bhatia. Sampurna Lahiri is the brand ambassador.

  • Magma Yoddha owned by Kaushik Sinha of Magma Fincorp. Sohini Sarkar is the brand ambassador. 

Brand ambassadors Ananya and Arunima (Second and third from left)

The players will be divided into three categories A, B & C for the auction. Group A will comprise of marquee players, Group B will comprise of national champions & Group C will comprise of state champions. Each match will comprise of five games including men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, open doubles and mixed doubles. The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals. The winning team gets a trophy and prize money of Rs 6,00,000 and the runners-up a trophy and Rs 4,00,000. The tournament begins from 5th June 2016. The semifinals & finals will be held on 10th and 11th June 2016 respectively. The matches will be played at Saturday Club, Bengal Club & CC & FC.

Prasanta Saha, Chairman, Darts Premier League & Secretary General, All India Darts Association said, “We have taken this initiative to popularize the game in our country & bring out the best players for representing India in the future. All the best players from the country will participate in the tournament. We have started the premier league in Kolkata which will be followed by similar tournaments in other metro cities”.

Now, a peek at Sharp Shooters. Sharp Shooters Sporting Club is a professionally managed sports club engaged in development and promotion of darts and other sporting activities. It aims at aims at changing the sporting ecosystem of its surroundings and promoting sports personalities and sportsmanship to a greater height. The team owner Firdausul Hasan who also happens to be the secretary of St Xavier's College Calcutta Alumni Association is the president of the club.

Sharp Shooters was the champion in the Calcutta International Club Premier Dart League held last year. The club has handpicked some of the best players in the game for fighting it out in Darts Premier League. Here they are-

Vidhul Goenka – All-India ranking 4, runner-up at the National Ranking Tournament 2015 in men’s doubles  and the winner at the National Ranking Tournament 2015 in mixed doubles.

Jaqueline Khanna – All-India ranking 7 and state ranking 4, ladies doubles winners at West Bengal State Darts Championship 2015 and ladies doubles runner-up at National Darts Championship 2014.

Samit Malhotra – All-India ranking 7 and state ranking 20, ranked second in men’s singles at National Darts Championship 2014, winner of Kolkata Darts League 2013 and winner of men’s doubles and team event as well as runner-up at mixed doubles at National Darts Championship 2014.

Kanika Jhajharia – State ranking 12, has played in West Bengal state championships and represented Calcutta International Club at inter-club tournaments.

Vijay Singh – State ranking 55, has played in West Bengal state championships and represented Dalhousie Institute at inter-club tournaments.

Hasnu Mukherjee – Has represented Calcutta International Club at inter-club tournaments and was the 3rd Best Female Performer at CIC Premier Dart League in 2016.

Gautam Sen – Has represented DKS at inter-club tournaments.

Sanjay Todi – Winner of Kolkata Darts Championship 2016 and has represented Calcutta International Club at inter-club tournaments.

Team Sharp Shooters

Looking forward to some sharp-shooting in DPL as the countdown is on.

#DPL #AIDA #DartsInKolkata #SharpShooters

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