Foreign players to add sheen to Coal India Hockey India League 2016
New Delhi, 10th January, 2016: The 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League the premier league for Hockey in the World today is all set to see an inflow of international talent for the 34-day hockey extravaganza.
The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India - the apex body governing the sport in the country and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is scheduled to be played across six venues in India from 18th January - 21st February 2016.
The six Franchises battling for supremacy in the richest field hockey league in the world are Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and defending champions Ranchi Rays.
The foreign players have been the biggest attraction for the franchises besides the Indian national team players. One of the biggest buys of the season made by the Kalinga Lancers is German stalwart Moritz Fürste. Moritz Fürste was named as the Euro Hockey League's Most Valuable Player in the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 Seasons.
At the European Championship 2011 he got the Award as Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The Olympic gold medal winner and FIH player of the year bagged a price of US $105,000. Moritz Fürste who is one of the best midfielders in the world will be looking to put his stamp on the tournament in the new franchise.
Tobias Hauke, a part of the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic gold medal winning teams, will be adding to the arsenal of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards team. He has been nominated for the FIH Player of the Year.
Hauke is a defensive midfielder and will be adding the necessary play making and defensive strength to the backline of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards with VR Raghunath and the celebrated Indian Goal Keeper PR Sreejesh. He commanded an astonishing amount of $96,000 against his base price of $ 25,000 this year.
Another German who will be a major crowd puller will be Florian Fuchs. The 24 year old German striker was awarded the FIH Young Player of the Year in 2012. He has been a part of the 2012 Olympic winning German team and champions trophy gold medallist at Bhubaneshwar in 2014. He is one of the most lethal strikers in the world and was picked up by Dabang Mumbai for $96,000.
The HIL auctions saw a lot of international midfielders being picked up by the franchises. The Australians, along with the Germans, were highly in demand.
Simon Orchard who was bagged by the Jaypee Punjab Warriors for $71,000 will be a major boost for the team. Simon will be playing alongside the Indian captain Sardar Singh and it will be two world class acts on display.
Orchard has won several medals with them including gold at the 2009 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy, gold at the 2010 Men's Hockey World Cup and gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Simon and Sardar will be the play making combination look out for in the Coal India HIL 2016.
Ashley Jackson is a creative threat to have in the team and the Ranchi Rays made the right decision by retaining him for a sum of $95,000.
Jackson made his debut in 2007 for the England at the age of 19. He was named FIH Young Player of the Year 2009 and is the first English player to receive this accolade.
Skipper Jackson led his team from the front and scored 12 goals to help the Rays clinch the 2015 HIL title. Out of the 12 goals, 11 came from penalty corner conversions, leading him to become the top-scorer of 2015 and also the Player of the Tournament. He will be at the forefront of the attack of the Ranchi Rays and will be looking to defend their title once again.