Dilip Tirkey, the president of Hockey India, has announced the revival of the Hockey India League (HIL). After a long break of seven years, plans are under process to revive the HIL as a top priority and make a triumphant comeback either in 2024 or 2025.
The president revealed that Hockey India has requested an entire window for the league's return, targeting December 2024, or January 2025. The council is not willing to delay further.
It is pertinent to mention that the men's league will feature eight teams whereas, the women's contingent will feature half of it for the upcoming edition.
Dilip Tirkey, opening up on the revival of the league, said (via PTI):
“We have asked a window after the Oympics, sometime in December next year or January in 2025... In men there would be eight teams, while in women there would be four teams."
Hockey India has drawn inspiration from the huge success of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which kicked off in 2008 and has become the leading T20 league since then. The HIL was originally introduced in 2013 but the Hockey India is now looking to take it to new heights after the league suffered a seven-year break.
Since its inception, HIL has served as a forum to revive the sport in the nation and also offers a platform for youngsters to utilize their Hockey skills. A notable number of the current members of the men's national team were advantageous from their initial inclusion in the tournament. Nevertheless, financial constraints and several problems with franchise owners caused the suspension of the HIL in 2017.
Hockey India League to revamp after the 2024 Paris Olympics
Hockey India is also targeting to recommence the HIL after the 2024 Paris Olympics ends. Yet, the duration of the league's return will highly rely on approval from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to make sure that it doesn't conflict with other international tournaments scheduled.
To avoid the recurrence of past monetary obstacles HIL faced, Hockey India has also etched a partnership with Big Bang Commercial in April 2023. As a result, Big Bang Commercial will function as the exclusive commercial and marketing partner for HIL.
The founders of Big Bang Media, Ravneet Gill, and Madhu Mantena voiced their happiness in being delegated with the obligation of handling the commercial factors of the league. They also stressed the importance of the HIL as an international benchmark for the sport and vowed their support for its thriving revamp, saying:
“The HIL has been a global benchmark for the sport and we are pleased to be a trusted partner for Hockey India in managing the commercial aspects of the league. We are privileged to be part of this incredible and important initiative and look forward to support the launch of a successful league.”