PHL unveils new Maharashtra-based franchise

Maharashtra Ironmen will be among the six teams to feature in the inaugural edition of the PHL.

The Premier Handball League (PHL) has unveiled the tournament’s fourth team, Maharashtra Ironmen ahead of the much-awaited inaugural season of the franchise-based volleyball league. The Maharashtra-based franchise is owned by Punit Balan of the Punit Balan Group.

Punit Balan is a sports enthusiast and youth icon who is passionate about Olympic sports and has visionary investments in the field of sports, entertainment as well as real estate. Apart from owning the latest PHL franchise, he also owns multiple teams in various sports leagues and has an investment in a sports employment startup.

Maharashtra Ironmen will be among the six teams to feature in the inaugural edition of the PHL, which is scheduled to take place later this year. The league is exclusively licensed to Bluesport Entertainment under the aegis of the Handball Federation of India (HFI) and has already unveiled three teams other than Maharashtra Ironmen, those are, Garvit Gujarat, Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan Wolverines.

Speaking on the occasion, Punit Balan, CMD Punit Balan Group, said: “Handball is one of the most exciting games with a unique combination of speed, agility, technique, skill and teamwork and enjoys a great following in the western market. I believe that if promoted and supported well, it will enjoy the same popularity in the Indian market as well. Additionally, being an Olympic sport with a majority of the players coming from the armed services, Handball becomes a natural choice for our group.”

He added, “Through PHL, we will look to transform this new-age sport. Through this partnership we are keen to create the right amount of entertainment so as 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.”

Adding to it, Manu Agrawal, CEO, Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., said: “Having stakeholders who are equally passionate and have a vision for Handball in India is a perfect combination for us at PHL. We are delighted to welcome Mr. Punit Balan and the Punit Balan Group on board and believe that this partnership will not only help in restoring the rich sporting legacy of Maharashtra but will also enable the sport of Handball to be developed into a commercially viable product in Maharashtra where the sport is already popular.

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