Sardar Singh became the highest-paid marquee player and was bought by the Delhi franchise and V.R. Raghunath was grabbed by Sahara Uttar Pradesh

The Indian skipper Sardar Singh commanded the best price of $78,000 from the Delhi franchisee as the players came under the hammer in the Hockey India League auction in New Delhi on Sunday.

Sardar was part of the five marquee players who were drawn to the five teams, Delhi Wave Riders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Mumbai Magicians, Ranchi Rhinos and Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

Moritz Fuertse ($75,500), Teun de Nooijer ($66,000) and Jamie Dwyer ($60,000) were taken by Ranchi, Lucknow and Punjab teams, forcing Sandeep Singh to Mumbai.

It was clarified that all the marquee players would be paid 15 per cent more than the best price commanded by a player in their respective teams.

Sandeep Singh moved to Mumbai with a base price of $27,800 but he was set to fetch about $65,000 after defender Joel Caroll of Australia was bought for $56,000.

The league, featuring 33 matches in all, will be played on a home and away basis from January 16. It was originally planned to have six teams.

Raghunath for UP

Quite interestingly, full-back and penalty corner specialist V. Raghunath was bought for $76,000 by Uttar Pradesh.

The irony was not lost on the 36-year-old Teun de Nooijer of the Netherlands who stood to benefit from Raghunath’s inclusion in his team, as his salary went up to about $88,000.

“The league will be very good for the future of Indian hockey’’, said de Nooijer.

The Chairman of the league, Narinder Batra, clarified that the price would be the same for the players each year for three years.

The teams were also free to buy players from other teams. Each team had its strategy in place and was very selective. The captain of the Indian team in the London Olympics, goalkeeper Bharat Chetri, failed to sell, and was kept in the reserve pool.

The overall budget for each team was $650,000.

Prominent players:

Delhi Wave Riders: Goalkeepers Nicolas Jacobi (Ger) & Primin Blaak (Ned) $83,000; Forwards: Danish Mujtaba ($63,000), Gurvinder Chandi ($50,000), Matt Ghodes (Aus) ($32,000), Mohammad Rizwan Sr. (Pak) ($26,000), Oskar Deecke (Ger) ($25,000), Yuvraj Walmiki ($18,500); Defender: Rupinder Pal Singh ($56,000); Midfielder Gurbaj Singh for $36,000.

Mumbai Magicians: Defender: Joel Caroll (Aus) ($56,000), Mathew Swann (Aus) ($51,000); Midfielders Mahmood Rashid (Pak) ($41,000), Mathew Butturini (Aus) ($29,000); Forwards: Sarvanjit Singh ($29,000) and Faisal Saari (Mal) ($26,000); Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh ($38,000), Thirumala Rao ($17,000).

Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Goalkeeper: Jaap Stock (Ned) ($68,000); Defenders: Mark Knowles (Aus) ($57,000), Ignace Tirkey ($31,000); midfielders: Simon Orchard (Aus) ($45,000) Gurmail Singh ($33,000); Forwards S.V. Sunil ($42,000), Kieron Govers (Aus) ($41,000), Shivendra Singh ($27,500).

Ranchi Rihnos: Goalkeeper: Fransisco Cortes (Esp) ($42,000), midfielders: Manpreet Singh ($61,000), Austin Smith (RSA) ($46,000), Birendra Lakra ($41,000), Kothajit Singh ($33,000); Defenders: Justin Reid Ross (RSA) ($33,000), of South Africa, Amit Rohidas ($29,000). Forwards: Floris Evers (Ned) ($31,000).

Uttar Pradesh Wizards: Forwards: Nitin Thimmaiah, S.K. Uthappa, Tushar Khandker and Pradhan Somanna; Defence: V.R. Raghunath, Harbir Singh; Midfield: Eddie Ockenden (Aus), Sander Baart (Ned), Pardeep Mor.

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