STAR India has announced a potential investment of Rs. 1,500 crore in hockey over the next eight years.

The media and entertainment company would be part and parcel of Hockey India (HI) and the International Hockey Federation (FIH)’s India-centric international engagements including the 2018 World Cup.

“We believe that a vibrant Hockey India League (HIL), international events in India, World Cup and world class production coverage are essential ingredients to popularise the sport and nurture future champions.

“We don’t have role models now; the local league and other international events will help create them. It would be a long and challenging journey,” said Nitin Kukreja, head of sports business, STAR India, at a media event.

Former India captain and Olympian Viren Rasquinha and former Pakistan captain Tahir Zaman, who will be part of the broadcaster’s studio commentary team in English and Hindi, said HIL was by far the biggest professional league in the world with around 60 Olympians, international coaches and officials being in the thick of action from Saturday.

“For many years, we had only Dhanraj Pillay as a role model. The HIL with STAR Sports’ production will help create more Dhanraj Pillays.

“The league has the potential to unearth about three or four new faces of Indian hockey. I liked the promos and wish I was young enough to play the tournament,” said Rasquinha.

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