MUMBAI: Sahara India Pariwar, a major business conglomerate
and the owner of IPL team Pune Warriors, has taken for an
undisclosed amount the Lucknow franchise of the Hockey
India League (HIL), the franchise-based Hockey league
started by Hockey India.
India, the official body of the sport in India, is launching
its own franchise-based league to rival World Series Hockey
which is co-promoted by Indian Hockey Federation and Harish
Thawani's Nimbus Sport.
India chairman Subrata Roy Sahara said, By taking up
this franchise we are sure that fresh talent will be identified
at city and regional level, who in turn will bring laurels
to our beloved nation. We are also hopeful, that following
our efforts to encourage Hockey, other corporate entities
will also come forward to support this league which will eventually
benefit the game and its exponents."
HIL will initially comprise six teams who will play each other
on home and away basis. The league is expected to debut in
January next year with the International Hockey Federation
giving it a one month window from 1-30 January to ensure the
participation of top foreign players.
HIL will have six city-based teams selected from a pool of
12 cities that have infrastructure and facilities to host
six teams can have a maximum of 24 players in their squad
with six Indian and foreign marquee players each. HI has fixed
the salary cap at Rs 30 million with players divided into
four slabs selected through IPL style auction in September.
India Secretary General Narendra Batra said, I am grateful
to Saharasri and Sahara India Pariwar, for again
coming forward in support of Hockey. The Group has always
come forward and supported the sport of hockey at all times
by providing it the much needed support.
from being sponsor to the Indian Hockey Team, Sahara India
Pariwar had also joined hands with Federation Internationale
De Hockey (FIH) in 2004, the Worlds apex Body for Hockey,
and became the fourth Global Partner of the Federation for
a period of three years.
will work with its exclusive marketing partner Twenty First
Century Media to launch the league. TCM is responsible for
handling sponsorship, media rights and getting franchises
on board for the league.
Sahara had renewed its sponsorship deal with HI forking out
Rs 400 million over a five-year period.