Hockey India League player auction imminent UPDATED

[img_assist|nid=4864|title=Under the hammer|desc=New Zealand’s Phil Burrows (left) has put his name forward fro the Hockey India League player auction – hockeyimages.co.uk|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=146]LONDON, November 8 – We understand the auction has been postponed.

INDIA, November 2 – Nine New Zealand internationals are the latest players to sign up for the player auction of the Hockey India League.

Run on similar lines to the IPL cricket player auctions, the Black Sticks will go under the auctioneer’s hammer alongside world stars including David and Ramon Alegre (Spain), Moritz Fuerste and Oliver Korn (Germany) and Australia’s Jamie Dwyer.

The live auction is expected to be on November 7 with six city-based franchises bidding for some 100 international players and 90 Indian players.

There is no news on possible involvement from English players but New Zealand’s Dean Couzins, Phil Burrows, goalkeeper Hamish McGregor, midfielder Shea McAleese, centre-half Steve Edwards, strikers Simon Child and Hugo Inglis, forward Nick Wilson and defender Andy Hayward are all now confirmed.

Run by Hockey India and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the competition will be held from January 5 to the February 3 and will be a home and away format culminating into multi header playoffs. ESPN Star Sports has signed as the official global broadcast partner for five years.

Black sSticks vice-captain McAleese says the upcoming auction will highlight where the players are viewed on the international stage and their worth to the teams and franchises. 

“As a player, it would mean a lot to get picked up by a franchise as I would be able to commit to being a professional athlete without having to worry all the time about expenses,” says McAleese. 

Each franchise will have 24 players which will include 10 foreign and 14 Indian players. Eleven Australians have signed up to the auction including Jaime Dwyer and four Australian co-captains. Other players to sign up include South African captain Austin Smith and Germany’s Oskar Deecke.

Hockey New Zealand high performance manager Toni Cumpston says it is really encouraging that nine players have put their names forward.

“It is fantastic for our players to get the opportunity to make some good money from this league. It is tough for athletes to make a living in our sport, but the development of the HIL is a big step forward for the sport and Hockey New Zealand is right behind this league,” says Cumpston.

“The best players in the world have put up their hand, so the six teams will be competitive and that coupled with the passion of the Indian crowd will make for a great spectacle,” says Cumpston.

The FIH has reserved time in its international calendar so that the top players are available to participate. The FIH will assist the organisers with some of the technical requirements, each game will be played with four quarters of 17.5 minutes each.

For more information on the league and to see other players that have signed up, go to www.hockeyindia.org/hil.