World No 30 G Sathiyan on Saturday became the first Indian to sign for Japan’s premier table tennis league, the T League.

Sathiyan will be representing Okayama Rivets in the league, which began in 2018 and is the first-ever professional league in Japan. The switch to Japan for India’s top-ranked paddler comes after two fruitful seasons in Germany. Sathiyan had won the German Cup with his club ASV Grunwettersbasch last month.

“I made the decision to move out of Germany as Japan is much better for practice and the level is higher than Europe,” Sathiyan was quoted as saying by PTI. He will be playing alongside and against some of the the world’s leading players, which includes world No five Harimoto Tomokazu and former world No 4 Jun Mizutani.

Among the foreign players taking part in the league are world No 6 Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei and 20th-ranked Lee Sangsu from South Korea. Besides Okayama Rivets, TT Saitama, Kinoshita Meister Tokyo and Ryukyu Asteeda are the other teams in the competition.