The 5th edition of the Hockey India League is just around the corner. The marquee tournament for hockey in India commences from 21st January and promises to be the grandest of them all. It also promises to draw in large audiences this time around. So, the Sportsrush takes a quick look at the upcoming Hockey India League 2017!
The Coal India Hockey India League
“The Coal India Hockey India League has been a huge success in how it has helped popularise the sport across the country. It has not just been a great spectacle for fans and players, but also a great model to demonstrate sustained growth for the sport”, said HIL chairman Narinder Batra during the launch of the schedule of season 5.
“The HIL benefits our Indian players’ development immensely by allowing them to play alongside the best players in the world,”he added. The Hockey India League has helped hockey to regain its importance in India. Moreover, it has helped in improving the pool of junior players which saw India winning the Hockey Junior World Cup last month.
New innovations and rules
A new goal-rule was added last year. As per this, every field goal will be counted as two and penalty corners as one goal respectively. Penalty strikes also account for one except when the goal is scored after a deliberate foul during the penalty corner. This has made the game more exciting by allowing the advent of aggressive hockey amongst teams.
On top of this, there is always an incentive to get noticed for selection to the national side. Also, lucrative cash prizes and packed stadiums call for a real sporting extravaganza. The promoters also go all the way in marketing this tournament. This year saw an innovative ad campaign featuring Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar.
All about the fifth season of Hockey India League
Teams : Dabang Mumbai, Delhi Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Kalinga Lancers, Ranchi Rays and Uttar Pradesh Wizards
Defending Champions : Jaypee Punjab Warriors(2016)
Stadiums : Mahindra Hockey Stadium(Dabang Mumbai), Shivaji Hockey Stadium(Delhi Waveriders), Kalinga Stadium(Kalinga Lancers), Sector 42 Stadium(Jaypee Punjab Warriors), Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium(Ranchi Rays ), Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium(Uttar Pradesh Wizards)
Most expensive player : Gurbaj Singh(among Indian players) , Christopher Ruhr( among international players)
No. of Matches : A total of 34 matches to be played among 6 teams
Match telecast and timings : Star Sports network at 7 PM IST. There will be one match per day in the league stage and two matches per day during the knockout stage. Matches will be broadcasted both in English and Hindi.
Tournament schedule :