PHL goes big; multi venue league to start January 02, 2007

7 of the top PHL teams to battle for the title in a single tier PHL goes big; multi venue league to start January 02, 2007 45 matches; Best of three finals; Chennai and Chandigarh to play co-hosts

New Delhi, October 13, 2006? Indian Hockey Federation (IHF),

India?s apex body for hockey management, today announced big and important transformations to the third version of country?s very own Hockey league, The Premier Hockey League (PHL). The league moves in to a single tier format with the top seven teams of last year to fight for the title in a two month long tournament co-hosted by Chennai and Chandigarh. ESPN STAR Sports, which has been entrusted with the key responsibility of marketing, producing and broadcasting the hockey

league for a period of ten years, will showcase PHL ?LIVE? and exclusive on its network.

Unlike last two years where the league had two tiers with five teams each, the third edition of the PHL will have the top seven teams from the last year?s edition battling for the country?s top Hockey team. The teams have been chosen on the basis of their performance in last year?s PHL which means that in addition to the 5 Tier I teams from last year?s PHL ? namely, Sher-e-Jalandhar, Chandigarh Dynamos, Maratha Warriors, Bangalore Lions and Hyderabad Sultans, the top two teams from Tier II, that is, Orissa Steelers and Chennai Veerans will be playing in the Premier division.

The Premier division will have the seven teams play each other twice, in 42 matches, followed by a best of 3 play-off final between the top two teams in the league like last year. The total number of matches in all will be 45 and will span a period of two months.

This edition of PHL will also see it move to a multi venue format with

Chennai to play host for the PHL for the first month, followed by Chandigarh in the second. All matches will be under lights as before

and will be covered LIVE and exclusive by ESPN STAR Sports.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. KPS Gill, President, Indian Hockey

Federation, said, ?The PHL has set new benchmarks as the world took notice of a completely new, revolutionary league with the third umpire being introduced for the first time in Indian hockey. Keeping in accordance with our innovations to make the league more interesting we have raised the competitiveness in the league. With the best seven teams from last year?s PHL playing each other, we envisage a more cut throat competition this year that will be good for Indian hockey.?

According to Mr. RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, ?We have redefined hockey broadcast with PHL. The tournament has been a viewing spectacle with comprehensive match analysis, pre- match and post-match shows, bi-lingual commentary in English and Hindi. Hockey lovers across the country have loved and followed PHL for the past two years for the tournament?s novel concepts and innovations. Innovations like colored jerseys, foreign players in the domestic league, use of third umpire and now the top seven teams in the Premier Division will revolutionize hockey viewing and make PHL the most viewer friendly league in the country.

Maurits Hendricks, the incumbent coach of the Spanish Team has been re-appointed the consultant for PHL. Maurits will provide his valuable inputs to all the participating teams during PHL. He will also be responsible for short listing foreign players for the league. ?

?We are confident that more foreign players will be seen in action this year as compared to last year. The initial feedback from the European players has been very heartening,? added Venkateish.

SS Dasgupta, Chairman & Managing Director, LSM, said, ?LSM with its in-depth knowledge of and involvement with Indian hockey is very confident that the proposed tournament will be a grand success. We are currently working on a detailed blue-print to ensure that PHL dons the look of a grand carnival. We are committed to offering an international quality experience to hockey fans ? they will get the best of hockey, as well as spectator facilities inside the stadium.?

Like last year, each game will have four quarters of 17 minutes and 30 seconds each, instead of the two halves. The winner, within the stipulated time, will get three points for each victory, while the team winning in the extra time will share the points 2:1.

For further information, contact:

Bhaskar Majumdar, Manager - Corporate Communications, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd

Mobile: 9811194244, Email: Or Tarundeep Singh, IPAN at 9811017310, 011- 42492100,


For the latest schedules and programme information visit For more news on Premier Hockey League visit

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