Leander Paes has been named as replacement for injured David Ferrer in the Punjab Marshalls team for the inaugural Champions Tennis League (CTL), starting November 17. Ferrer withdrew from the tournament due to an inflamed lower back.
An excited Paes believes Punjab will be a strong contender for the title.
"I am very happy to be a part of Vijay Amritraj's Champions Tennis League 2014 playing for the Punjab Marshalls. I am looking forward to a very competitive and challenging league format that will bring some of the best international tennis to different parts of the country.
"I look forward to playing with Somdev (Devvarman), Garbine (Muguruza) and Greg (Rusedski), and together, I believe we will be a strong contender for the title," said Paes, the world No. 29 in doubles. (Read: See India Through my Eyes, Vijay Amritraj Tells Martina Hingis and Venus Williams)
Former captain of the Indian Davis Cup team, Paes is the recipient of India's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, in 1996-1997; the Arjuna Award in 1990; and the Padma Shri award in 2001 for his outstanding contribution to tennis in India.
Amritraj said: "I am truly delighted that our own Leader Paes will replace Ferrer in making a very strong Indian presence in the Punjab Marshalls team. Leander will be playing doubles with Somdev and mixed doubles with Garbine Muguruza, which makes the Punjab Marshalls a very formidable force in the Northern Group."
CTL is a six city-based franchise league to be played from November 17-26 and will be held across Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Chandigarh.