The first sport tournament of India has started. Hockey League India is a professional league for field hockey competition in India. It is organized by Hockey India. The tournament is contested between six franchises consisting players from India and around the world. The first season of Hockey India League was kicked off in 2013 with five franchises, which was won by Ranchi Rhinos. In 2014, Kalinga Lancers was sixth franchise. Delhi Waveriders won 2014 season.
The third season of HIL (Hockey India League) will run from 22 January 2015 with the final on 22 February 2015 among six teams. The plan is to have 8 teams by 2016 and 10 teams by 2018, with a possibility of having a team from south India. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sanctioned the event and also provides a 30-day window at the beginning of a year so that all top players can participate. Two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp currently sponsors it.
This season will see the debut of two new franchises. Ranchi Rays will replace Ranchi Rhinos and Dabang Mumbai will replace Mumbai Magicians. The idea behind the tournament was to promote Hockey in India and generate more players for the National Team. Players get an opportunity to play with other countries players and get a good exposure of teaming up with them. This helps them in building their skills. Each HIL Franchise has 24 players, which include 10 foreign players and 14 Indian players. The players are always acquired in an Auction.
Indian Mid-fielder Sardar Singh and Australian Jamie Dwyer were named as brand ambassadors of the Hockey India League. Three-time FIH world player of the Year Teun de Nooijer was signed as HIL third brand ambassador. The tournament is broadcasted worldwide and Hero is the ambassador since 2013. By HIL, Hockey is again tightening its grip in India. This not only will improve Indian hockey team players skills but will also encourage more players to inclined towards Hockey.