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Hockey India League to return in 2019

Ashley Jackson ruling midfield in the Hockey India League

The Hockey India League looks set to return in 2019 featuring men’s and women’s teams and a shortened format.

According to a Hockey India official, HIL is slated for after the completion of the FIH Pro League, between November and December, and will played under five-a-side rules.

The franchise teams will remain the same, although Delhi Waveriders, which featured the like of England’s Iain Lewers, are not expected to take part.

“The league would be remodelled and would now include both men’s and women’s events. We are looking at making it 5-a-side instead of 11-a-side,” an official told reporters.

Each franchise will have 10 men and 10 women in their squad, it is reported.

“The existing franchises are likely to continue and we are still in talks with them, working out details. We are also talking to other possible owners,” the official said.

“The Pro League would be over in the first half of 2019 and all players from across the world would be available for the HIL.”

India’s growing success has previously been credited to the success of the HIL in enabling young players to play alongside the top stars.

It is not known how many international players will be retained by each franchise. With the Pro League stretching from January to June, clubs may have the final say on any foreign players being enticed to India.

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