Eight Pak players sign up for World Series Hockey

Eight Pak players sign up for World Series Hockey Mumbai: Eight Pakistan players, including former captain and Global 'All Star' forward Rehan Butt, have signed up for the USD 2 million prize money World Series Hockey (WSH) to be held in eight Indian cities from December 15 this year to January 22, 2012.

The seven others, including two other ex-skippers, are defender Zeeshan Ashraf, seasoned campaigner Mudassar Ali, Tariq Aziz, midfielder Adnan Maqsood, half back Waseem Ahmad, Pakistan's most capped player, drag-flicker Syed Imran Warsi and striker Shakeel Abbasi, said a media release from WSH.

Between them the Pakistanis have played over 1600 international matches.

"I am honoured to be a captain of one of the teams. World Series Hockey will see a face off between the best international and Indian players and I am proud to be a part of this prestigious and highly anticipated event" said Butt, who has been named as captain of one of the eight city-based franchise outfits.

The cash-rich league, a joint venture between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, has signed top international players from all over the world including countries like Australia, Argentina, Spain, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea.

Some of the top Indian players who would take part include Rajpal Singh, Sandeep Singh, Adrian D'Souza, Sardar Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Diwakar Ram, Bharat Chetri, Dhananjay Mahadik, Shivendra Singh, Mandeep Antil, S V Sunil, Roshan Minz, William Xalxo and Prabodh Tirkey.

The league would be played in Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and two other venues, from among Bhopal, Pune, Rourkela, Ranchi, Manipur, Lucknow and Kolkata.

Nimbus Sport's COO Yannick Colaco said the league (not a sanctioned event of the International Hockey Federation) has evoked overwhelming response from players around the globe. "The response from the players and members of the global hockey fraternity has been overwhelming. The top players from the international arena including Pakistan have signed contracts and the league is all geared up to enthral fans with a spectacular display of skill," he said.