A franchise promoted by Odisha-based public sector units will participate in the Hockey India League’s 2014 season.

A high-level meeting chaired by Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi here on Thursday decided to form a Special Purpose Vehicle which will hold a franchise in HIL apart from promoting other sports in the State.

Mahanandi Coalfields Limited, a central sector coal PSU, and Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO), will come together with having share of 50 per cent each for the SPV. The team titled ‘Odisha Lancers’ under the SPV, which will be the franchise in HIL, will take part in the tournament.

“At present, there are five teams playing in the HIL. A team from Odisha will be the sixth team in the league. Professional panels to be recruited by SPV will work out other details,” said Mr. Majhi after the meeting.

A core team comprising Dillip Tirkey, former Indian cricket captain, and Lazarus Barla, the present coach of India junior hockey, would prepare strategies on players’ acquisition for the league. Each team can acquire 10 foreign players and 14 Indian players.

List of players

Eight players from Odisha, who are now playing under different franchises, are Prabodh Tirkey, Subodh Tirkey, Dipsan Tirkey, Sanjeev Dung Dung, Anand Lakra, David Minz, Manjit Kulu and Dipak Kishore Ekka.

However, the franchise from Odisha would request inclusion of four new players in the list so that these players could be acquired for local flavour. These players are Birendra Lakra, Dinesh Ekka, Roshan Minz and Bikash Toppo.

“The formation of SPV heralds a new era in Odisha sports. We plan to offer scholarship and health insurance to sportsperson through new arrangement. If matches of HIL are played in Bhubaneswar, it will encourage budding hockey players to take the sport as career,” said Dilip Tirkey, who is also BJD Rajya Sabha member.