Is cricket-mad India ready for some football?

By the Associated Press | August 5, 2011 | 12:43 PM EDT

Chief Executive Officer of Elite Football League of India Richard Whelan speaks during a press conference to announce the league in Mumbai, India, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. Organizers of the ambitious football league plan to start the city-based championship with the inaugural edition slated from Nov. 2012 to Feb. 2013. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India is a country with a passion for the genteel game of cricket. Now it's 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. The eight-team pro league is made up of Indian players and coaches and 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 to run from November 2012 to February 2013.