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Hockey India League will improve Indian hockey say former players
The Hockey India League kick-started yesterday and the league has come in for praise from several quarters. Former Indian players are very happy with the initiative taken to help and promote hockey in India.

THE TOURNAMENT is going to witness five city-based franchises who will try to win the first season of the Hockey India League. The competition will last for more than 25 days and conclude on February 10, 2013.

Jugraj Singh was happy with the advent of HIL, as he said, “From the day we picked up a hockey stick, from the day we represented India for the first time, we had a dream that one day there will be a tournament, where players from around the world would play together, play with those coaches who have won Olympic medals. This is for the first time that talented Indian youngsters will share the dressing room with such people. It is not an Indian event but a world event,” reported network1media.

There is huge participation of players from around the world, for which auctions were held on December 16 2012, which made many players richer by lakhs of rupees. Each team comprises of 24 players – 10 foreign players and 14 Indian players. Top players from Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, and England have made the event look even more special and huge. It is the Indian players who will be able to learn from top class international players.

Mohammed Shahid, another former hockey player said, “There are 53 Olympians in the tournament. It is a nice initiative to improve hockey in India. I feel hockey should improve.” These Olympians bring in a wealth of experience to each and every team, so not only Indian youngsters but also established Indian stars need to lend their ears to new ideas, which is only going to help the sports grow in the country.

Viren Rasquinha also held the same view and said, “For every youngster in the country, it is a dream come true – learning experience and then help India improve as a hockey playing nation. The Indian players, coaches need to learn tactics from foreigners in the championship.” The Indian team has been tactically a weaker side in recent times as compared to their foreign opponents. Maybe the HIL will help Indian players and coaches come up with new tactics thus helping India becoming a better side.

Cedric D'souza, a former hockey player, analysed it wisely, “First of all, HIL is a game changer. Second thing – it is a marketing mix. Long long time ago, we were waiting for sponsors. Well, it come and come with a big bang. You have got the best players coaches in the world. Our youngsters would get an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best,” reported network1media. This championship has attracted big sponsors where Bharti Airtel is the Associate Sponsor and Hero MotoCorp has signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal, which would help the sport of hockey grow.

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