|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
IHF to launch National League
February 09, 2004 20:45 IST
The much-awaited National Hockey League could finally see the light of the day later this year, the Indian Hockey Federation announced on Monday.
The IHF decided to launch the NHL after repeated demands from various quarters for a hockey championship on the lines of the popular National Football League.
The league will feature 10 teams divided into two tiers -- the Premier and the 1st Division. Each team will be allowed to take a certain number of foreign players to ensure "the best of world's talent on display".
The NHL will not only provide better income for domestic players but also give them the opportunity to play alongside foreign players.
Till now, in the absence of the NHL, Indian players have been going abroad to play.
IHF president K P S Gill said the league will provide the players with more opportunity to showcase their talents.
"All of us at IHF are extremely excited with this innovative plan and are confident that players at all levels would tremendously benefit from this league," Gill said.
The NHL will be introduced in association with sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports and Leisure Sports Management (LSM) company which had played a role in introducing the National Football League in India a decade ago.
"IHF has been working very closely with their exclusive agent LSM for the last two years to come up with the perfect formula for this event," Jothikumaran said.
"ESPN STAR Sports was also introduced in the planning process for providing inputs to make the telecast viewer-friendly," he added.