Star India mid-fielder Sardar Singh and Australia captain Jamie Dwyer were on Tuesday named as brand ambassadors of the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) starting on January 5 next year.
Apart from naming the brand ambassadors of the league, Hockey India (HI) also unveiled the logo for the six-team franchise-based event.
Announcing the ambassadors of the league, HI secretary general and HIL chairman Narinder Batra thanked the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for granting a one-month window for the event, which will be played on home-and-away basis.
“Since it is an FIH-sanctioned league, there will be best of coaches and international players. Each team will have 24 players — 14 Indian and 10 foreign players out of which five international players can play at a time,” Batra said.
“FIH will be sending technical officials for the league. There will be a total of 33 matches — 30 league matches, two play-offs and final. The league will help young Indian players to play alongside the best of world hockey,” he added.
FIH World Player of the Year Dwyer, who has been part of Australia’s Olympic, World Cup and Champions Trophy winning sides, said not only India, the HIL will be beneficial for world hockey. “HIL has huge potential.”
ESPN-Star Sports has been named as the official broadcast partner of HIL, and the players’ auction will be held at the end of next month or first week of November.
The four out of the six franchises who have already been picked up by major business houses are — Sahara India Pariwar for Lucknow, Jaypee Group for Punjab, Patel-Uniexcel Group for Ranchi and Wave Group for Delhi.