IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley [ Images ] and renowned media personality Rajat Sharma have been named as board members of the high-profile Hockey India League (HIL), which will be held across the country early next year.
Hockey India secretary-general and HIL chairman Narinder Batra said the appointments of these personalities from outside the hockey circle will enhance the league's profile.
"We are honoured that Mr Rajeev Shukla, Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr Rajat Sharma have accepted our invitation to be on the board of HIL," he said.
"We are sure that the Hockey India League will gain from Mr Shukla's knowledge as chairman of the Indian Premier League [ Images ] Governing Council and in public life, Mr Jaitley's vast experience as lawyer and sports administrator and Mr Rajat Sharma's experience as a media personality," Batra said.
On his part, Shukla expressed hope the inaugural HIL will be a huge success.
"I am glad to be given the opportunity to serve our national sport and I am sure that HIL will be an unqualified success," Shukla said.
"I believe everyone in our country loves hockey and hopes for it to return to the big league. As with IPL, I am sure players around the world will want to be a part of the Hockey India League," he added.
Echoing similar sentiments, Jaitley said hockey in India is poised for a massive shot in the arm.
"As a fan of hockey, I have seen the positive steps that Hockey India has taken and I am confident that the professional league with the world's best players can only help Indian hockey progress faster," he said.
Sharma added: "Without doubt, all of us want Indian hockey to regain its footing among the world's elite and I believe that Hockey India League will enable us get back where we belong."