2017 Hockey India League to have a seventh team from Bengaluru
This will the 7th team to join the League and the 1st from South India.
The 2016 edition of the Hockey India League(HIL) came to a close on Sunday, with the Jaypee Punjab Warriors emerging as the winners after inflicting a 6-1 loss on the Kalinga Lancers in the final in Ranchi.
It's only been two days since the season concluded, but Hockey India(HI) are already planning ahead for the forthcoming one and one of their early decisions to make the competition more attractive has been the addition of a new team from the Southern part of India.
The 2017 edition of the League will see a team feature from Bengaluru that is to be owned by the Jindal Steel Works(JSW), who are already well-known for their association with several other sports like football,(Owners of Bengaluru FC in the I-League), Squash( The JSW Indian Squash Circuit events) and Wrestling( Owners of the Bengaluru Yodhas in the Pro Wrestling League).
Presently, the League has three teams from the North( Delhi Waveriders, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Jaypee Punjab Warriors), one from the West(Dabang Mumbai) and two teams from the East of India( Ranchi Rays and Kalinga Lancers).
A team from Pune was scheduled to join the already-existing six last year, but the authorities decided to not bring in a new team from the city since they didn't want two teams from the same state.
The inclusion of the Bengaluru franchise should not just help in taking the game to a new venue and make it more accessible to a lot more spectators, but help unearth some more talent from the state that would help accomplish one of the key objectives of the League.