NEW DELHI, November 19: As many as 24 Australian hockey players, including all 16 members of the squad that won the bronze medal in the Olympic Games at London earlier this year, are among the 91 overseas players who have signed up for the Hockey India League Players’ Auction to be held here in December in the run up to the six-team event in early 2013.
“A look at the list of players will assure the hockey fraternity that it is in for an intensely competitive event from 5 January to 3 February 2013,” said Hockey India Secretary-General and Hockey India League Chairman Dr Narinder Batra. “We are confident that the quality of hockey on view in the 33 matches will be very high and exciting.
“We are happy that a vast majority of the world’s best players from 12 countries besides over 150 Indians have made themselves available for Hockey India League,” Dr Batra said. “It will be of particular interest to hockey lovers here that, with 15 players in the Auction, Pakistan is second only to Australia in terms of numbers.
“We are also pleased that Olympic champion Germany and the Olympic silver medallist the Netherlands will also be well represented in the auction,” Dr Batra said. “We are also confident that more players from these nations and also from countries like England, Korea and Canada will find representation in the coming years.
The break-up (by nationality): Australia 24, Pakistan 15, Spain 10, South Africa, New Zealand and Netherlands 9 each, Malaysia 5, Germany 4, Argentina 3, Belgium, France and Poland 1 each.