Hockey India League player auction set for December 1

[img_assist|nid=6504|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=53]DELHI, November 9 – Christmas will be coming early for some hockey stars with the Hockey India League player auction set for December 1.

Run on similar lines to the IPL cricket player auctions, international stars such as the Alegre brothers from Spain, Jamie Dwyer and a host of other Australians have already put their names in the hat. German London 2012 gold medallists Mortiz Fuerste and Oliver Korn will also go under the hammer.

There are no reports of English players signing up, as yet.

The starting prices for players range from around £1800 to £15,000. Each franchise has a salary cap of around £4,000.

New Zealand captain Dean Couzins, veteran 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 will also feature in the auction.

 The auction will take place in Delhi, nearly five weeks before the Hockey India League is scheduled to start.

Hockey India secretary-general and Hockey India League chairman Dr Narinder Batra said: “The HIL Players’ Auction will be a massive landmark in the history of sport since there has been no precedent in any league. It will give the six franchises the opportunity to bid for the best players and complete their squads.

“We have no doubt that after the players’ auction we will have six squads that can offer the fans highly competitive hockey.”

“Since the teams have a salary cap of Rs 3.5 crore each, we are sure that all players picked will be delighted with the financial compensation they would be getting for playing in the league.”

Nearly 90 overseas stars and 150 Indian players have made themselves available for the HIL Players’ Auction. As many as 144 players will find buyers since each of the six teams will have a maximum of 10 overseas and 14 Indian players.

The six-team tournament, to be played on a home-and-away basis, is scheduled to be held from January 5 to February 3, 2013.

The 33-match tournament, aimed to raise the profile of the sport in the country, will be telecast live by ESPN Star Sports.