The recently-launched International Swim League will ignite the sport like the IPL has done for cricket, says GB swimmer Max Litchfield.
With stars such as Adam Peaty, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Murphy involved, the series is designed to shake up the sport with a fast-paced, team-competition format, providing athletes with greater opportunities to swim competitively outside the Olympics, as well as financial support and year-round recognition.
The event travels to seven cities in the USA and Europe during its inaugural campaign, launching in Indianapolis on October 4-5, before heading to Naples (Italy), Lewisville (Texas, USA), Budapest (Hungary), Maryland (USA) and London with a finale in Las Vegas on December 20-21.
Litchfield, a double European Championships medallist, has joined Team Energy Standard, who are based in Turkey, and he cannot wait to test his skills against the world's best ahead of next year's Tokyo Games.
The 24-year-old Sky Sports Scholar gives his insight to the new competition.....
HOW WILL IT IMPROVE SWIMMING?
Swimming around the world is going to change, and for the better! It has happened in so many other sports, like the IPL for example, where cricket has grown massively for the better.
Swimming is one of the most popular sports in the world, but doesn't get the attention it deserves. I believe the ISL can create that.
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE ADDING TO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE?
The ISL fits into my calendar very well and won't get in the way of my preparations for the Tokyo 2020 trials, if not improve them.
Having the opportunity to race the best swimmers in the world all year can only be positive and will allow me to weave my race craft while taking the sport to the next level.
ANY CHANCE OF GETTING NICKNAMES OR WALK-ON TUNES?
I'm not sure but this sounds like an awesome idea!
As the ISL grows I feel quirky ideas like this will grow too. We've seen it across the world with the IPL and the Big Bash in cricket and the Diamond League in athletics and I see no reason why this won't happen for the ISL too.
COULD THERE BE A PROBLEM WITH SWIMMERS FOCUSING ON MONEY OVER MEDALS?
I hope swimmers don't begin to chase the money! Swimming has, and in my opinion always will, be all about the Olympic Games and that has to stay top priority.
But on the flip side I can envisage a world where both are possible. The ISL schedule fits very well into the cycle and so doesn't detract or affect the hard work we are putting into preparing for Tokyo 2020.