About 150 hockey players from around the world, including 95 Indians, will be a part of the auction for the upcoming season of the Hockey India League. The auction though, is set to happen behind closed doors, away from the glare of the public and the media.
According to Narinder Batra, Secretary General of Hockey India and Chairman of the Hero Hockey India League, it will present franchises with an opportunity to buy new players to compensate for withdrawals and retirements from the existing squad of players.
“The base prices for the players vary from USD 2,600 to USD 25,000,” he said. Nearly 154 players from 14 countries including 95 from India and 59 overseas have made themselves available for the Closed Bid. The Bid is expected to see a lot of competition between young Indian and overseas players. The second season will be an exciting opportunity for the young and coming talent to leave its mark on the tournament” said Batra.
Amongst the 95 Indians in the fray, are a group of talented youngsters who have impressed in recent tournaments such as the Sultan of Johor Cup last month. Affan Yousuf, who was vice-captain on that trip, is one of the bright young talents available.
Forward Ramandeep Singh, one of India’s most promising young players, has also signed up. Ramandeep scored on his debut in the Asia Cup tournament where India took silver, and also had six goals in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Other members from the successful Sultan of Johor team are goalkeeper Harjot Singh and forward Mohammad Amir Khan.
Forward Nitin Thimmaiah and defender Gurjinder Singh, are also in the mix.
In total, there are 10 goalkeepers, 27 midfielders and 42 forwards making up the 95 strong Indian list. Australia and Argentina have the maximum representation amongst the foreign players.
Notable international stars in the fray include:
Korean Defender Jongho Seo – four Olympics Games, three World Cups, seven Champions Trophy and three Asian Games.
New Zealand’s Ryan Archibald – 280 internationals, part of two Olympics, three World Cups and Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy.
England’s Barry Middleton – 275 internationals, three Olympics, two World Cups, and four Champions Trophy Tournaments, part of World All Star Team from 2008 to 2010 for 3 years in a row.
Spanish defender Ramon Alegre – 237 international caps, vice-captain of the Spain team that finished sixth at the Olympic Games in London 2012, represented Spain in Olympic Games (Silver Medal), World Cup (Bronze Medal) and played Champions Trophy 2004-2011, part of FIH World All Star Team 2011.
Last year saw some prestigious names from the world of hockey take to the field in the inaugural HIL including FIH Player of the Year Award winners Jamie Dwyer (2004, 2009, 2010, 2011), Teun de Nooijer (2003, 2005, 2006) and Moritz Fuerste (2012).
Over 69 million fans across the world watched the inaugural tournament. The Ranchi Rhinos were the winners in the first edition.
The break-up of Overseas Players (by nationality): Argentina 12, Australia 10, Canada 2, Czech Republic 1, England 6, Germany 1, Ireland 1, Italy 3, Korea 1, Malaysia 4, New Zealand 6, South Africa 7 and Spain 5.Published 22 Nov 2013, 11:56 IST