More than 150 players from 14 countries, including 95 Indians, will go under the hammer when the Hero Hockey India League’s Closed Bid 2013 takes place in New Delhi on Friday, nearly two months ahead of the second season of the HIL.
Hockey India Secretary General and Hero Hockey India League Chairman Narinder Batra said the Closed Bid would give the franchisees the chance to buy new players to replace permanent withdrawals and complete their squads for the coming season.
“The base prices for the players vary from $2,600 to $25,000,” he said.
“Nearly 154 players from 14 countries including 95 from India and 59 overseas have made themselves available for the Closed Bid. The Bid is expected to see a lot of competition between young Indian and overseas players. The second season will be an exciting opportunity for the young and coming talent to leave its mark on the tournament” said Batra.
The list of 95 Indians has some young talented players who have recently performed well at various tournaments.
This includes the likes of forward Affan Yousuf, who was vice—captain of the Indian junior men’s team that won a gold medal in the 3rd Sultan of Johar Cup last month.
Forward Ramandeep Singh, who scored on debut at the ninth men’s Asia Cup and six goals in the third Sultan of Johar Cup, has also signed for the Closed Bid.
Goalkeeper Harjot Singh and forward Mohammad Amir Khan are the other young talents in fray. They were part of the junior national team that won the third Sultan of Johar Cup.
Forward Nikin Thimmaiah, who made his debut in the recently concluded ninth Men’s Asia Cup in Malaysia, and defender Gurjinder Singh, who scored a goal in his debut during FIH World League Round 2 early this year, are also among the stellar attractions from domestic players who have signed to be featured in the Closed Bid.
The list of 95 Indians comprises 10 goalkeepers, 16 defenders, 27 midfielders and 42 forwards.
In the list of 59 overseas players, maximum have signed from world champion Australia and Argentina. The most experienced player in the overseas list is Malaysian defender Azlan Misron with 317 caps.
Misron participated in the Commonwealth Games 2010 (Bronze), Asian Games 2010 (Silver) and other major events including Asia Cup and Champions Challenge.
Korean Defender Jongho Seo, who was member of the national team in four Olympics Games, three World Cups, seven Champions Trophy and three Asian Games is also set to join the league.
New Zealand’s trustworthy midfielder Ryan Archibald has played in 280 internationals including Two Olympics, three World Cups and Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy. He was also the part of FIH World All Star Team in 2007.
England’s experienced midfielder/forward Barry Middleton, who played 275 internationals, has also signed for the Closed Bid.
He has been key member of the England team in three Olympics. Having participated in two World Cups, Barry has also participated in four Champions Trophy Tournaments. He was continuous member of the World All Star Team from 2008 to 2010.
Spanish defender Ramon Alegre has also signed for the Closed Bid. Having an experience of 237 international caps, Ramon was vice-captain of the Spanish team which finished sixth at the Olympic Games in London 2012.
He represented his national team in Olympic Games (Silver Medal), World Cup (Bronze Medal) and also participated in the Champions Trophy from 2004 to 2011. He was selected in the FIH World All Star Team 2011.
Of the 120 players who played in the inaugural Hero Hockey India League, 60 were Olympians. The list includes winners of the prestigious FIH Player of the Year Award including, Jamie Dwyer (2004, 2009, 2010, 2011), Teun de Nooijer (2003, 2005, 2006) and Moritz Fuerste (2012). Seven of the top 10 FIH rated players played in the Hero HIL 2013.
More than 69 million fans across the world watched the inaugural tournament. The inaugural season, won by the Ranchi Rhinos, was telecast in 146 countries.
The break-up of Overseas Players (by nationality): Argentina 12, Australia 10, Canada 2, Czech Republic 1, England 6, Germany 1, Ireland 1, Italy 3, Korea 1, Malaysia 4, New Zealand 6, South Africa 7 and Spain 5.