Over 100 foreign players interested in World Hockey League

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Mona Parthsarathi

New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) Over hundred foreign players,including Australian star Jammie Dwyer and some Pakistaniplayers are willing to be part of the World Series Hockey, tobe launched by Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) later this year.

Yannick Colaco, Chief Operating Officer of Nimbus Sports,admitted that a lot of international players are in touch withthem but did not divulge the names.

However, sources say 10 Australian and seven Pakistaniplayers are in touch with the organisers through their agentsand almost all the current overseas players, who were a partof Premier Hockey League, have also shown interest in theleague.

"We have got tremendous response from players all aroundthe world. Over 100 foreign players are in touch with us butwe have the slot of 60 only. We will scrutinized them nextmonth," a source told PTI.

IHF president R K Shetty said that there will be not anIPL-like auction for the league and the process of playerselection will be based on the draft system used by theNational Basketball Association in the US.

"There will be around four grades of players. Players inA plus category will get around 45 to 55 lakhs. A, B and Cgraded players will get around 40 to 50, 30 to 40 and 20 to 30lakh rupees respectively," he said.

Nimbus Sports had recently entered into a 15-yearcontract with the IHF to conceptualise, stage and market thehockey series.

The series will feature as many as 100 matches and up to250 hockey players from India and around the world willparticipate in it.

"All the top players will be a part of this series.

Pakistani players have also approached us but the decision ontheir participation will be taken by the government," Colacosaid.

Shetty said that some countries are even interested inhosting the matches.

"We are surprised by the overwhelming response by theplayers worldwide. Some countries even expressed the will tohost some of the matches," he said.

Asked about the final list of the players, Colaco said itwill be disclosed next month.

"We will finalise contracts with all Indian players incouple of weeks and then we will select foreign players. Finallist of the players will be ready by February," he said

He said the criteria of selection will be players'' form,consistency and potential.

"I don''t need any panel to tell me the capabilities ofinternational players. All the foreign players who will bepart of the league are well known and we will select thebest," he said.

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