Moritz Fuerste taken by Kalinga Lancers for a whopping USD 105000
Akashdeep Singh successfully picked by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for USD 84000 making him the highest bid Indian player
Jaypee Punjab Warriors nail Jasjit Singh Kular for USD 65000
Young goalies Akash Chitke, Suraj Karkera and Krishan B-Pathak bagged by Ranchi Rays, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Dabang Mumbai respectively
17 September 2015, New Delhi: The 2015 auction of Hockey India League witnessed an intense and nail biting day as the six franchisees picked their team from the 271 players which went under the hammer today at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi. With 135 Indian and 136 foreign players, the day started with Kieran Govers was bought by Dabang Mumbai at USD 36000 post an intense round of bidding. This set the tone for the auction and there was no looking back for each franchisee as each one got into business to strategically bid and build the right mix of player combination for their teams.
With everyone waiting in anticipation to see who finally takes the Indian Sardar Singh, it was Kalinga Lancers who opened the bid for him. However, Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to take him at USD 58000 through their persistence and consistently upping the price. Having missed on Sardar Singh, Kalinga Lancers got adamant when the bid for German midfielder Moritz Fuerste commenced. With all teams vying to get him on board, it was the Lancers who stretched themselves for a mind blowing USD 105000 and surpassed last year’s bid of USD 103000 made by Dabang Mumbai for star player Tom Boon. With this bid Moritz Fuerste becomes the highest player in Hockey India League. Dabang Mumbai looking at successfully bidding for the top foreign players in their team saw them take Florian Fuchs at USD 96000. Not far behind was Uttar Pradesh Wizards who not wanting to lose out on German Defender and Midfielder Tobias Hauke got him for USD 96000.
Another much awaited bid was Rupinder Pal Singh and Delhi Waveriders went all out to get him back to the squad at USD 68000. The franchisees showed their keenness for the versatile defender Sandeep Singh as Ranchi Rays went on to grab him for USD 81000 while legendary player Jamie Dwyer was clinched by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for USD 57000.
It was heartening to see that the franchisee chose many from the young brigades who have been vying for a chance to perform on a big platform like Hokey India League. Goalkeepers Akash Chitke, Suraj Karkera and Krishan B Pathak got picked up by Ranchi Rays, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Dabang Mumbai respectively marking the youngest players coming on board the League.
Young Indian forward Akashdeep Singh, Defender Gurmail Singh, Forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Forward Mandeep Singh, Forward Nikkin Thimmaiah were bid for aggressively by franchisees and were pocketed by Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Dabang Mumbai respectively. While Akashdeep became the highest paid Indian player with USD 84000, he was closely followed by Gurmail Singh being bagged for USD 81000, Gurwinder Singh Chandi for USD 75000, Mandeep Singh going for USD 70000 and Nikkin Thimmaiah taken for USD 67000 marking a new high for Indian players getting recognized for their contribution to Indian Hockey.
Kelly Fairweather, CEO, FIH who was present for the auctions said “The League has attained a unique position in the world of Hockey. There is considerable excitement in the fraternity for the event which is growing in stature year after year. The auctions are being held in the most professional manner and are throwing many surprises in terms of bidding and choice of players. The increasing choice of opting for younger player is an indication that the teams are keen to experiment with fresh talent.”
Talking on the League and the Auction Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Chairman Hockey India League and President Hockey India said “There was no predefined criteria for the selection of players, so there was no restriction on the base price of the players and this decision was left with the players. The auctions have concluded successfully and I am happy to see the excitement amongst franchisee to build fresh teams.”
Commentign on the League, Cam Vale, CEO Hockey Australia said “HIL is a very important League across the world. Hockey Australia did not give it a second thought to sign a MOU with Hockey India for the test series and releasing its players for HIL. We are committed to provide our players for the League as this also gives them a wonderful platform to play and learn from other players from across the world.”
Chaitanya Diwan, Sr. Vice President, Star Sports said “Hockey India League has been growing year by year in terms of its popularity and viewership. We are really confident and the kind of support Hockey India is putting behind this event and the kind of support FIH is providing is a big boost to the game as well as the League. Star Sports is extremely excited about the event and we are proud of the fact that we are broadcasting the League. We will make sure we put this across all our platforms and will be presented absolutely in the best fashion possible”
Chief Mentor for Kalinga Lancers, Dilip Tirkey said “Since the last 2 editions, Kalinga Lancers has not been performing well and this is why we came with the plan to buy the best possible players so that we can improve our performance in the upcoming editions. We had a prior planning before picking up the players and we chose them according to our pre-set team combination that we had in our mind. The franchisees already knew about the new regularion that has been introduced before they we were asked to retain our set of players and releasing the rest. This change is certainly for the betterment of Hockey. Earlier, penalty corner was the main concern and not the field goal, this introduction will definitely pay more consideration to score field goals”.
Talking on the auction, Viren Rasquinha, Team Mentor, Dabang Mumbai said “One of the main strategies to regard the foreign players was to look at top class goal scorers because as per the new regulation one field goal will be counted as two so it was really important for us to get strong goal scorers”.
Commenting on the auction Harendra Singh, Head Coach, Ranchi Rays said “Strikers are more in demand as compared to mid-fielder or any other player. We are lucky to have Vikramjit Singh as he is one of the upcoming players and for Hockey India League he will prove to be a surprise package. It was tough to choose amongst the Indian players as compared to the foreign players”.
Dhanraj Pillay, Technical Director, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, talking on Akashdep Singh said “Akashdeep’s performance since the last 3-4 years is remarkable and he is also been regarded as one player who is seen everywhere in the field. Uttar Pradesh Wizards was lucky to get Jamie in the team and he will be a huge support on the Forward line alongwith Ramandeep Singh. We hope they score many field goals and give us the advantage”.
Present for the auctions, Mr Rajiv Shukla, IPL Chairman said “Hockey India League is as good as IPL auctions. While IPL’s base price is in lakhs, I think the way hockey is growing; the price will soon be in lakhs and dollars. The amount allocated to the players is appropriate and I believe over a period of time, there will be more eyeballs for this League”.
Coach, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Jagbir Singh said “We were lucky enough to get two Captains National captains Sardar Singh and Mark Knowles in our team. from here we are looking forward to the League and see how the new team delivers”.
Hockey India League 2016 will have its inaugural match in Bhubaneswar and the Finale will be played in Ranchi.