New Delhi: The cash-rich Hockey India League (HIL) will start with the match between Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, here, on Monday.
Modelled in the Indian Premier League (IPL) style, the money involved in the HIL is nothing compared to what the cricketers receive but it is still good enough to motivate the hockey players.
The players, who are paid a pittance for donning national colours, were traded in dollars in the auction held in the capital in December.
“It is great to see the players getting good money. I am expecting the level in HIL to be much higher than the league I have played in,” said Punjab Warriors’ Jamie Dwyer. “For the Indian players, it is just kind of competition that could raise their standard,” he said.
The league also involves some of world’s best coaches. While Australian Ric Charlesworth is the head coach of Mumbai Magicians, Barry Dancer would be coaching the Punjab Warriors.
Initially, Hockey India wanted to play the league with six teams but failed to find a buyer for the city of Bangalore. The franchisee based five-team tournament will have a total of 120 players. Thirty four matches will be played in the tournament in a span of 28 days.