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Indian Hockey will benefit from World Series Hockey
World Series Hockey will take off later this evening in Chandigarh. Eight teams are participating..

HOCKEY INDIA’S brain child, World Series Hockey (WSH), one of the most awaited events in the field of Hockey will start tonight as Chandigarh Comets take on Bhopal Badshahs at Chandigarh in the inaugural match of the competition. Not only Indians, foreign players would also strut their stuff during the competition, which former players like Zafar Iqbal believe will benefit the Indian Hockey.

Eight franchises, namely, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Karnataka, Mumbai, Pune and Punjab are participating in the competition. All these teams are expected to be strong contenders for its debut season. Each team has registered 25 players for the competition. With foreign players also representing various franchises, the quality of action on turf would be of top notch. Along with these players, former Indian players such as Dhanraj PIllay, Gaganajit Singh would also be in action, which would augur well for the tournament and Indian Hockey. Iqbal says, “Our youngsters will get some good exposure by playing along such players”.

India definitely has many youngsters, who are good with their hockey sticks, but they don’t have a proper platform to showcase their skills but WSH seems to be one ideal platform. Along with this, the league would be providing them the much needed financial support, which has been a major problem. “The best part of the WSH is the monetary support that the players will receive”, informs Iqbal.  

The tournament could not have come at a better time, as national team recently qualified for London Olympics. “Fans have tilted towards hockey after the win, as the cricketers are not doing well,” adds Iqbal. With matches starting only after 7 in the evening, the league is expected to draw large crowds. Those interested in watching the game on their television screens can also do so at their respective places, after an exhausting day at work.

Top Indian players have also been registered with all the franchises but they are in jeopardy. Hockey India has shortlisted 48 players for the Olympic Games camp, which is set to clash with the WSH. So in all probability, they are going to miss out on the competition. In order to make the competition a better one, top Indian players should have been allowed to play. There are chances, if they do not turn out for the camp, they might be banned. Who would want to create such a situation? Iqbal asks, “It should have been left for the players to decide. The rift between FIH and HI should have been avoided”. This rift between the two bodies could bring a bad name to the sport and the league, which will be keenly watched all over the world.

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