The upcoming World Series Hockey will have a touch of Latin flavour following the signing up of six Argentine and three Spanish players for the US $2 million prize-money tournament in India [ Images ], from December 15 to January 22, 2012.
The Argentina players include the renowned Vila brothers, Lucas, Matias and Rodrigo, forward Callioni Facundo and defenders Pedro Ibarra and Juan Martin Lopez.
The Spanish stars are former Spain captain Rodrigo Garza, Alfonso Pombo and Andreau Enrich.
Lucas Vila, who was a member of the World All-Star team and participated in the 2010 World Cup in Delhi [ Images ] last year, will be captaining one of the city-based franchise squads in the League.
"World Series Hockey continues to attract the best talent in terms of players and administrators and I feel proud to be an integral part as a captain. The global league is highly anticipated and will witness a fantastic display of skill and talent," Vila said, ahead of the tournament.
Former Spain captain Rodrigo Garza is looking forward to playing in front of passionate Indian fans.
"It is indeed an honour for me and my teammates to play in a global league like World Series Hockey. The hockey fans in India are extremely knowledgeable and passionate and will certainly appreciate a keen contest," said Rodrigo.
The tournament involves 176 leading players -- Indian and international -- and will be spread over 61 matches.
Six cities -- Delhi, Punjab [ Images ], Mumbai [ Images ], Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore -- have already been identified for having franchise teams while the remaining slots will go to two from among Bhopal, Pune, Rourkela, Ranchi, Manipur, Lucknow [ Images ] and Kolkata [ Images ].