Chief Executive Officer of Elite Football League India Richard Whelan, center, interacts with Indian players during a press conference to announce the league in Mumbai, India, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. American football steps into unfamiliar territory with the announcement of the robust professional league in India, where a number of sports have already been inspired by cricket's multimillion dollar Indian Premier League. -Photo by AP

MUMBAI: India, a country with a passion for the genteel game of cricket, is about to get a taste of the rough and tumble sport of American football.

Organizers announced plans Friday for the Elite Football League of India, an eight-team pro league made up of Indian players and coaches that will open next year in this country of more than 1 billion people.

The league says investors include former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar, an American of Indian descent, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys and Hall of Fame tight end and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka.

The inaugural season is scheduled to run from Nov. 2012 to Feb. 2013.

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