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Saubhadra Chatterji , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 17, 2013
Despite the recent match-fixing episode, the Indian Premier League (IPL) continues to inspire many, including in the highest corridors of power.

Taking a cue from India's most popular sporting event, the Rashtrapati Bhavan is set to start its own RBL (Rashtrapati Bhavan League) cricket tournament. Four teams, representing four departments of the Presidential estate, have been finalised for its first edition that will be rolled out after the monsoon is over.

While the teams will be playing on a reduced format of ten overs each, their names have the distinct flavor of the IPL; they are—Secretariat Avengers, Household Royals, President's Body Guard Chargers and Delhi Police Challengers. The players, however, will be picked up only among those working in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

To pep up the logistics for the tournament, a brand new cricket pitch has been prepared on the playground of Dr Rajendra Prasad government school, an establishment inside the Presidential estate. Secretary to the president Omita Paul, Officer on Special Duty Suresh Yadav and a few select officers are the key planners of the tournament.

"The facilities that would be created will also serve a bigger purpose. Like, the cricket pitch will cater to the 1,600 students of the Rajendra Prasad School," said an official.

Although President Pranab Mukherjee is a soccer aficionado, he keeps a regular tab on the Indian cricket team's performance. And like millions of Indians, his favourite cricketer is Sachin Tendulkar.