Hockey India League (HIL) is conducting a fresh auction of players for the upcoming season of the League on September 17 at New Delhi. The six franchisee will bid for players from India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, Malaysia, Japan and Korea to complete their teams.
This is going to be 4th season of HIL, but still there are no teams from South India, either of Chennai or Bangalore should have had a franchise in the league by now. In the interest of the game and for increasing its reach, hockey hotbeds like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu can not be ignored in important league like HIL, which has become one of the best league in world, however it is yet to spread its arms pan-India. Keeping the stadium attendances during World Series Hockey 2012 in mind, HIL organizers should try to get a franchisee from either of the cities specially Bangalore.
Earlier in August 2015, HIL had provided all the franchisees the option to retain up 3 Indian and 3 Foreign players, while releasing the rest of the squad. A total of 277 players are listed for the auction and among them, 135 players are from India and 142 players belong to other leading hockey nations. Under the new Rules and Regulations, Franchisees can build a team of 20 players, which allows each franchisee to have 12 Indian players and 8 foreign players.
Defending Champions of HIL, Ranchi Rays retained its total quota of 6 players including team captain Ashley Jackson along with Barry Middleton and Fergus Kavanagh. The three Indian stalwarts retained included Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh. The players held back are known for their experience as well as delivering successfully under pressure situations which will help complement the new team that will come on board post the auctions.
On the other hand Runner-up team of HIL 2015, Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be eyeing for the most suitable 9 Indian and 5 foreign players who will help complete the line-up. With the release of Jaap Stockmann the franchisee will also have to get a goalkeeper as agile and as world class as him. JPW for the upcoming actions has a pocket of USD 472,500, while they have already spent USD 252,500 on the players that they have retained. JPW had held back the entire quota of their six players including the agile SV Sunil along with the young and vibrant Satbir Singh and Varun Kumar. The foreign players retained boasts of the huge experience of the three Australian players – Chris Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jacob Whetton.
Dabang Mumbai, who played their first season in HIL 2015, held back only 3 players and released the rest of the squad for the auctions including Tom Boon. Retaining Harmanpreet Singh was expected and was the ideal choice. With the latter’s retention he is the only Indian retained in the side along with 2 foreign players – David Harte and Jeremy Hayward. With a kitty of USD 563,000, Dabang Mumbai has to pick 11 Indian and 6 Foreign players, while they have already spent USD 162,000 on the three retained players.
Delhi based Delhi Waveriders and former champions of HIL, also held back their quota of 6 players including the experienced Simon Child, Tristan White and Steven Edwards along with the young brigade from India – Talwinder Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki and Surender Kumar. To bid for 9 Indian and 5 foreign players, the franchisee is left with USD 514,000 post spending USD 211,000 on the six players held back. DWR will be aiming to recreate the same magic team which left many in awe during the first two seasons.
Looking at playing their third appearance in HIL next year, Kalinga Lancers has already decided to hold back Devindar Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay and Gurjinder Singh. They are confident that the move will prove beneficial for the team in the long run keeping in mind that all three Indian players are regarded as the next Indian players to look out for on the astro-turf. Post the decision of holding on to young blood, the franchise went ahead to retain its dependable goalkeeper Andrew Charter along with Aran Zalewski who is known for his ability to surprise the opponents on the field because of his play. With USD 520,000 left in their kitty, the franchisee will look at creating the ideal team that they have been wanting since they made their debut in HIL 2014.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards on the other, held on to the experience of PR Sreejesh, Ramandeep Singh, VR Raghunath, Jolie Wouter and Edward Ockenden while releasing the rest of the team. With the already 6 most important players in place the franchisee will feel more confident in picking up young players who will complement and complete the team line-up during the auctions. Having spent USD 284,000, the franchisee has a kitty base of USD 441,000 to pick up their rest 15 players. UPW will look at having the best forwards as well as midfielders in place who will help support the defence which they have held back.
The HIL Auction 2015 will be conducted by renowned auctioneer Bob Hayton of London, who has 30 years of experience in this profession, on 17 September 2015 at Hotel The Lalit in New Delhi.
Details of retained and balance players for HIL Auction 2015:
|Team||Players Retained||Players Balance|
|Jaypee Punjab Warriors||3||3||6||9||5||14|
|Uttar Pradesh Wizards||3||2||5||9||6||15|
Balance salary cap and expense on retained players for HIL Auction 2015:
|Team||Expense on retained Players||Balance Salary Cap||Notes|
|Dabang Mumbai||$162,000||$563,000||One GK retained|
|Jaypee Punjab Warriors||$252,500||$472,500|
|Kalinga Lancers||$205,000||$520,000||One GK retained|
|Uttar Pradesh Wizards||$284,000||$441,000||One GK retaine|