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Hockey India League - right way forward
Following the success of Indian Premier League, a five-franchise field hockey tournament on the same lines known as Hockey India League is set to start from 17 January and end on 10 February 2013.

THE FIVE teams to take part in the competition are Ranchi Rhinos, Punjab Warriors, Mumbai Magicians, Delhi Wave Riders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards. All these franchises were present during the players' auction bid, which was held yesterday (Sunday). There were more than 240 players in the auction list.

All the franchises were involved in tough auctioning rounds, as they had already chalked out the players, who they wanted in their teams. They had a rough idea about their respective teams. It was Sardar Singh, India's hockey captain who bagged the most expensive player title with the Delhi franchise signing him for USD 78, 000. Apart from the Indian skipper, they also brought in some international flavour with Oscar Deeke from Germany, Lloyd Norris Jones from South Africa and Matt Ghodes from Australia.

Mumbai Magicians also spent their money wisely on players such as Sandeep Singh for USD 27, 800; Sarvanjit Singh for USD 29, 000 and Satbir Singh for USD 45, 000. Their foreign players included Glenn Turner from Australia, Faisal Saari from Malaysia, Matthew Butturinin from Australia. One of the most sought after foreign players, Jamie Dwyer from Australia was signed for USD 60, 000 by Punjab Warriors along with other Indian players like SV Sunil for USD 42, 000. Punjab seems to have invested on as many as 11 foreign players. It must have been a part of their strategy as well.

Ranchi Rhinos, as reported by IBN, also signed international players, Moritz Fuerste from Germany for USD 75, 500 and Floris Evers from Netherlands for USD 31, 000 along with a host number of Indian players. Uttar Pradesh Wizards like other teams have chosen a good mix of national as well as international players with Teun de Nooijer signed for USD 66, 000. Tushar Khandker, PL Thimmanna, SK Uthappa are some of the Indian players in their ranks.

With such players expected to be in action for the cash-rich Hockey India League, the competition is going to be top notch. Players from all around the country are very upbeat about the tournament, as it is not only going to give them an extra money-making opportunity, but also rub shoulders against the best of the best players from around the globe.

The competition brings in a sea of opportunity for Indian players in the domestic circuit. Like IPL, the Hockey India League also can churn up new talents and help these players to get a seat in the national team. The tournament cannot come at a better time, when the Indian team has just started to come back in the international main-fold of hockey with their fourth place finish in the Champions Trophy, 2012 at Australia.

These Indian players are going to benefit a lot out of the competition, as they would be playing against the top hockey players of the world, which they could have only dreamt of -  all thanks to the Hockey Indian League. Along with players, the sport would also grow with the number of sponsorship deals that would make way into the Hockey Indian League and not forgetting the revenue that the league would make from ticket sales and other sources.

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