PHL dresses up with 30 foreign players

MUMBAI: The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), ESPN Star Sports (ESS)and Leisure Sports Management (LSM) have announced the names of the foreign players who will play in the third edition of the Premier Hockey League (PHL).

These players will be allocated to the teams keeping in mind their strengths and the slot available. For the first time international players from seven countries will play in PHL with big names from nations like Australia, Netherlands and Spain. Pakistan and Netherlands top the imports with 12 and eight players respectively scheduled to play in league starting on 4 January in Chennai.

Some of the key names include Jamie Dwyer- the goal scorer from Australia, Santi Freixa from Spain- the best FIH player and Junior Player of the World, Pakistani Hockey team captain Rehan Butt, Sander van der Weide- a multiple medal winner with the Dutch hockey team among others.

The foreign players have been classified to play in short stints and some of them will play in the Chennai leg of the league and some will join their respective teams for the Chandigarh leg. The Pakistani players will however stay on for a longer duration.

IHF president KPS Gill said, “We are looking at a much bigger and more competitive league this season. With only one tier featuring seven top teams and 30 foreign players confirmed, I am sure Indian Hockey will be the winner at the end of it all.”

ESPN Software India MD R C Venkateish said, “It was essential to bring in foreign players to give the league, the players and the viewers a competitive and international standard of Hockey in the country. These players will not only raise the standard of the game but also provide an interesting dimension to the viewers. We are on verge of taking the Hockey broadcast to the next level. We realise that there is a strong need to make the game of Hockey more and more viewer friendly.”

LSM MD SS Dasgupta said, “The players have been chosen keeping in mind their skill set and they will be allocated to the seven PHL teams in accord with the need and requirements of each team that will be discussed in consultation with the IHF, the coach and the captain of the team."

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