Hockey India unveils HIL trophy

New Delhi, Jan 13:
Hockey India (HI) today unveiled the trophy of the Hockey India League (HIL) to be held across the country from January 14 to February 10.
HIL chairman Narendra Batra, who unveiled the coveted trophy along with title sponsors Hero Group CEO Pawan Munjal, said the trophy was designed keeping in mind the improving status of Indian hockey at the international stage.
“The trophy shows a player protruding outwards from the base. The player showcases the rise of the game in recent years and the emergence of India once again as a hockey powerhouse,” he said.
Commenting on the scheduling of the semifinals and the final at Ranchi, Batra said Jharkhand is one of the main centres of hockey in the country and HI is keen to promote the game in the state.
‘There are many upcoming talents of hockey from the state of Jharkhand and that’s a reason we have decided to stage the final four games at Ranchi. Another reason is the proximity of dates and keeping in mind that players would have to play back-to-back matches within a short span of time,” he said.
Batra also announced a slew of other awards, including the Ponty Chadha award for the most promising young player (Under 21 player) of the league carrying a prize of Rs 20 lakhs.
Other awards include – Player of the tournament (Rs 25 lakhs), Man of the match (Rs 25,000), Goal of the match (Rs 25,000), Spectator goal of the match (Rs 10,000).
“We are proud of our association with the national game. I am sure that the initiative taken by Hockey India to start this league will go a long way in developing the game and bringing back its old glory,” Munjal said.
Batra, who is also the chairman of the HIL said former players would also be a part of the upcoming league, starting tomorrow with host Delhi Waveriders taking on Punjab Warriors at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium here.
Commenting on the security concerns of the Pakistani players, Batra said every player is an asset and also assured of full security for every player.
‘Each player is an asset and there are no security concerns for the Pakistani players. They are our guests and its our responsibility to take care of them here. As far visa-related problems for the Pakistanis are concerned, there wasn’t any issue from the Indian side. Its the players who applied late but their visas were cleared within a day,’ he said.
The tournament will be contested among five franchisee-based teams consisting of players from India and around the world. (UNI)


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